Wild Babies (2022) s01e06 Episode Script

Finding Your Place

1 It's early morning on the plains of Botswana.
A dangerous place for the young and vulnerable.
The lost wild dog pups are tucked away, trying to keep out of trouble.
They're a long way from the safety of their pack and don't know what to do.
Duma's got them into this mess.
She led them astray, and now she's lost her nerve.
Her sister Venus might be the one to lead them to safety.
There's a point in every young animal's life when they need to find their place within the family.
For Venus, it's time to make her move.
An ancient city might not be the most obvious place to find a wild baby.
From up here, these old temples and palaces seem deserted.
But take a closer look.
A troop of daredevils lives amongst the ruins.
A family of toque macaques, with some interesting hairstyles.
Life looks pretty fun and carefree, but this family is all about the pecking order.
Who's up, who's down, and everything in between.
Right at the bottom is nine-month-old orphan Amma.
A couple of weeks ago, her mom went missing, presumed dead.
And without her, little Amma is all alone.
There's no one to cuddle her, to groom her, or to care for her.
With no milk from her mom, she spends every waking minute searching for food.
It's exhausting.
But it's not just about missing a mom's love and protection.
Babies inherit their mother's rank, and as an orphan, Amma struggles to be included.
No one wants anything to do with her.
She faces a daily reminder of what she's missing.
Baby Zach is the son of the alpha female.
He gets all the love and attention he needs.
But even for a high-ranking monkey like Zach, one in three young macaques don't make it.
Finding a place in the troop is crucial if Amma is to survive.
The Rankoth Vehera monument is one of the troop's favorite spots to eat.
Leftover offerings make the perfect snack.
Nothing is wasted, and everyone's able to fill their cheek pouches to bursting point.
But while life seems good, there's always a macaque looking to show others who's boss.
And little Amma is an easy target.
She tries to stand up for herself, but with no backup, she's defenseless.
Another youngster joins the attack.
Now she's robbed of her lunch too.
She plays dead until the coast is clear.
Another reminder that she's a long way from finding the love she craves.
In Southern Africa, the wild dog pups are also separated from the rest of their family.
They've been lost for three hours, and they must find the adults soon.
There are powerful enemies on the prowl.
Venus is already showing skills beyond her years.
She's picked up a trace of Bamba, their babysitter.
But the pack's territory is huge.
She'll have to use both her sight and smell to try and track him.
Duma got the pups lost in the first place so she lets Venus take charge.
There's still no sign of their family after hours of searching, leaving Venus and her team exhausted.
But this isn't a great place for a pit stop.
An elephant could easily trample an inexperienced pup.
The matriarch sends a warning.
Venus takes the hint and leads her little band out of harm's way.
It's been a long afternoon, and the pups have had no luck finding the adults.
As a final resort, Venus has come back to the savanna where they last saw them.
All they can do is hope she's led them to the right place.
And she has.
Venus's skill and confidence has helped reunite the pack, and her star is on the rise.
Finding your place in the world can often mean working as part of a team.
But for some babies, it's all about number one.
Hidden away in a secluded lake, one expectant couple are preparing for their new arrivals.
A pair of reed warblers has a nest of five precious eggs.
These small, delicate birds have their work cut out.
They take it in turns to incubate their unhatched offspring, while the other heads off to feed.
And now, after 11 days, their first chick has hatched.
He's blind and can barely hold his head up.
The hardworking pair go into overdrive to feed their demanding firstborn.
And while they leave the nest unattended, something strange starts to happen.
The tiny day-old chick is slinging out the other eggs.
For him, there's only one way to establish yourself in this family.
Get rid of the competition.
But this is not a reed warbler.
It's a cuckoo.
Eleven days ago, his mom snuck into the nest, removed one warbler's egg, and replaced it with her own, almost identical in appearance.
Then she disappeared.
And the industrious little warbler parents have no idea this outrageous impostor isn't theirs.
He's accomplished the first part of his mission.
To place himself center of attention, the sole chick of the family.
On the island of Sri Lanka, the big macaque troop is enjoying some family time.
Grooming is everyone's favorite pastime.
It keeps them healthy and helps bring them closer together.
But someone's left out.
Little orphan Amma is still all alone since she lost her mom.
Away from the warmth of the family huddle, she's vulnerable.
Stray dogs also live amongst the ruins.
And they're the macaques' greatest threat.
With no one watching over her, Amma's oblivious.
But someone in the troop has spotted the danger.
The alarm goes up.
While little Zach has been carried to safety by his mom, Amma, as always, must look after herself.
She makes it to the trees in the nick of time.
But it's an unsettling experience.
When the group huddles together Amma's longing to be included.
But as usual, she is ignored.
Zach is the clear favorite.
She moves closer, hoping to get noticed.
It seems to have done the trick.
The alpha male starts to groom her.
Amma lies down meekly, desperate to keep his attention.
But the moment passes.
She's no nearer to getting accepted into the family.
In the Okavango Delta of Botswana, the reunited wild dog pack is recovering from its ordeal.
The adults spent a long time searching for the pups, and now they're starving.
Finding food is their top priority.
For the pups, playtime is top of their list.
Duma's confidence has returned.
She's not given up on being the bossy one just yet.
If Venus is to be a future leader, she'll need to show she can take charge.
Bamba's spotted something just across the clearing.
A hunt is on.
Pups this age wouldn't usually follow a hunt, but it's so close, they can't resist.
The adults waste no time tucking in.
But they quickly give way to the youngsters.
In this family, pups always come first.
Mealtimes aren't just a chance to fill up.
It's also an opportunity for a show of strength.
Duma tussles over a bone with Venus, but Venus does not back down.
She holds her ground and gets a bit of the kill all to herself.
A win sets her apart.
The adults seize the moment for a second helping.
But Venus isn't ready to let them have their turn just yet.
She's buoyed by her newfound confidence and pushes the adults back.
It's a bold move.
She's showing she's got what it takes to be a future leader of a pack.
Her point made, she leads the pups away for a drink.
A potential alpha in waiting.
Working out where you stand within the family can be a lot easier if you're an only child.
In England, young animals at the lake are growing up fast.
But one has bloomed more than most.
This cuckoo singleton doesn't have to worry about competing with siblings.
Having the reed warblers' sole attention has paid off, even if it's a bit of a tight squeeze.
His surrogate parents still don't notice anything unusual, but they face a relentless task, keeping up with his insatiable demands.
They just can't ignore his begging calls.
This committed pair goes to any lengths to keep him protected.
But it's hard to be an umbrella for something five times your size.
He preens his feathers, finally ready to fly the nest.
Luckily, he's found a soft landing.
His worn-out parents can't relax yet.
He'll still claim free meals for another couple of weeks.
Until, at just two months old, he must fly the 5,000-mile journey to Africa, to make his way all on his own in the big, wide world.
In Sri Lanka, orphan macaque Amma is trying to fit in much closer to home.
On her own, every day is a battle to find food and to keep out of trouble, forever hoping for a comforting cuddle from another member of the family.
Today, the troop has come to the lily pond.
They love nothing more than eating the juicy flower buds just beneath the surface.
But they need to be careful.
A water monitor lizard is also a frequent visitor.
And a small macaque would be easy pickings.
Even a big male is nervous.
But little Amma is starving.
And decides to take a risk.
Ignored by the troop for so long, all eyes are now on her.
Amma's bravery has shown the whole family there's nothing to fear.
And where she leads, they follow.
The lily buds are a welcome change from fruits and leaves.
And the feast has almost everyone's attention.
But Amma's learned to keep watch for danger.
And it doesn't take long.
She warns the rest of the troop.
Breakfast is over.
Amma's quick thinking sees the whole extended family safe in the trees.
Baby Zach and his top-ranking mom have found the best spot and everyone has someone to hug.
Except Amma.
She may be small, but she's got a lot to offer.
Surely, she's proved herself a valuable member of the family.
An older female moves closer.
At last, a cuddle.
Amma's finally accepted.
She can rest for the first time since her mom disappeared.
Back in the embrace of her family.
Back where she belongs.
Amma's found the love and warmth she was looking for, but other babies face a cold, unwelcoming world from the off.
For a little emperor penguin, the freezing temperatures are just one problem to deal with.
He's got a long road ahead if he's to survive in this most hostile of homes.

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