Wild Babies (2022) s01e02 Episode Script

Home Alone

1 In their South African home, Kaya and her brothers don't have a care in the world.
Thanks to their mom's selfless commitment, they're growing fast.
But gentle Kaya struggles to get a look-in with her stronger brothers getting the lion's share.
And now her mom's milk is running low.
After five days without a meal, she has to do what no mother wants to do.
Leave her babies alone to find food.
Half of all lion cubs never make it to their first birthday.
The stakes could not be higher.
For babies in the wild, being left home alone is one of the scariest challenges of all.
On this exposed and barren coast, shelter is hard to find.
For baby Tabo, this desert is a tough place to grow up.
When sandstorms hit, everyone in the colony lays low.
All three-week-old Tabo and his mom can do is wait it out together.
Finally some peace.
All Tabo wants is his mom.
She's his entire world.
And his sole protector.
But he can't get too comfortable.
Tabo is growing fast, and to keep up with his demands, his mom must spend longer at sea searching for food.
He wants to go with her, but his fur won't develop its waterproofing for another ten weeks.
It's not wise for him to follow.
His fur is now dangerously waterlogged.
He's at risk of drowning.
His mom comes to the rescue, but can't stay with him.
He's exhausted, but safe.
The ocean is off-limits for now.
Cut off from his mom, he'll have to take care of himself for a whole week.
With no family to comfort him, he's completely alone.
Tucked away where their mom left them, Kaya and her brothers are safe from danger.
Their rocky outcrop provides them with the perfect hideaway.
And playground.
After just one night on their own, the cubs are bored.
Kaya's adventurous brothers aren't hanging around.
They investigate every inch of their rocky home.
But little Kaya lacks the strength to join them.
As long as the cubs stay together near the den, they'll be safe.
Kaya's brothers are running rings around her.
But it's not just about fun.
They're developing their hunting skills.
Kaya prefers to watch her brothers from the sidelines.
A good hunter needs to learn how to choose his target approach silently and pounce when the time is right.
It's early days, but with enough practice, one day, they'll be ready to take down a buffalo.
But if Kaya doesn't get stuck in, she'll never master her hunting skills.
And now her brothers' overconfidence is leading them away from the safety of the den.
Kaya can choose to stay home alone or follow her brothers.
She makes her choice.
But it's a bad decision.
Now, far from the den, her headstrong brothers have led them into danger.
They've ventured into the path of a powerful male leopard.
Leopards detest lions.
And if he spots the cubs, he'll kill them.
Instinctively, they know to hide.
They're lucky.
He's too distracted marking out his territory.
A close call, but he will be back.
Leaving the den has another consequence for the cubs.
They're now lost.
They desperately need their mom.
Without her, they'll have to spend the night alone.
Out in the open and unprotected.
While nighttime brings dangers for some babies for others, darkness provides the perfect cover.
On these moonlit savannas, a termite mound conceals the underground home of a very special creature.
Highly secretive, it's one of the world's most heavily-trafficked animals.
So much so that researchers track each and every one they find.
This precious new addition riding on its mother's back is a baby Temminck's pangolin.
Eight-week-old Matengu and his mom are on an important mission to find a new home.
His mom keeps him close, so he doesn't wander off.
She moves him almost every night to keep him hidden.
And for good reason.
Despite his protective scales, youngsters like Matengu are easy pickings for hyenas and leopards.
His mom doesn't dig their burrows.
Instead, she's a serial squatter who searches for vacant homes.
But finding an empty burrow is easier said than done.
Sharing with a prickly porcupine isn't appealing.
Perhaps it's wise to look for another.
Already occupied.
Finally Matengu's mom has found the perfect place for them to rest.
If he can resist his urge to wander off.
Back on the Namibian coast, Tabo has spent the last 24 hours home alone, and he's still pining for his mom.
On the beach, he's an easy target on his own.
And making a friend could save his life.
He can't turn to the other moms for comfort.
But he's not the only pup left here by himself.
For safety, these babies form a crèche, and Tabo's best chance of survival is to join them.
But first, he'll have to win them over.
The rules of entry seem to be tougher than he expected.
But Tabo stands his ground, earning his place in pup club.
He's found a partner in crime.
Things for Tabo are starting to look up.
Well, they were.
In all the excitement, these new friends have wandered away from the protection of the group.
And they've attracted attention.
Black-backed jackals are here to snatch a tasty seal pup.
Those pups with their moms have someone to fight their corner.
The best chance now for Tabo and his playmate is to get back to the crèche and lose themselves in the crowd.
He's lost his friend.
Tabo is alone, and no one can help him now.
Brave Tabo has found the courage to save his own life.
At such a young age, this little pup has passed his first major test of survival.
Over the next 12 months, Tabo will have many more lessons to learn to prepare him for a life at sea.
But he's already shown he's got the fighting spirit he'll need to overcome life's challenges.
Further inland, Matengu and his mom have spent most of the day sheltered underground.
Bored of sleeping in and feeling hungry, Matengu is getting restless.
He's missing out.
The world above ground is full of activity.
Ground squirrels are enjoying their dinner while keeping a watchful eye out for unwanted guests.
But this female brown hyena is not interested in squirrels.
She has caught a strong scent of pangolin, and the smell has brought her to this burrow.
While his mom sleeps, Matengu sneaks out to gain his first taste of freedom.
But this hyena is out of luck.
She's at the wrong den.
Matengu's wise mom was right to swap burrows last night, moving him far away from danger.
Now, venturing out for the first time on his own, he's itching to explore the great outdoors.
Like all pangolins, Matengu has poor eyesight.
But he makes up for it with an impressive sense of smell.
And it doesn't take him long to sniff out his favorite food.
Matengu is equipped with a perfect tool to reach them.
A long, sticky tongue.
It measures half the length of his body, and he can hoover up thousands of ants in a single sitting.
By stepping out on his own, Matengu has discovered his very first meal without Mom.
It's a small milestone, but a big step on the road to independence for this very special baby.
Daybreak in South Africa.
The savanna grazers are making the most of the cool morning air.
But they're not alone.
Kaya's mom is carefully preparing an ambush.
Her cubs are counting on her to make a kill.
Without her pride to help, it requires all her focus.
She must get within striking distance.
Hunting alone is tough and her efforts go unrewarded.
Now she has to return to her babies empty-handed.
Back at the den site, she senses something is wrong.
The cubs are nowhere to be seen.
And there's a strong scent of leopard in the area.
Her calls are increasingly distraught.
After surviving the night alone in the scrub, the brothers are overjoyed to see their mom.
But Kaya is not with them.
Her mother is desperate to find her only daughter.
Alone and lost in the wilderness, Kaya must find her family before the dangers of nightfall.

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