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Animals & Nature

This series offers a close-up look at nature from the tiniest plankton to polar bears, pandas and whales, from the warm waters of the Florida Keys to the mountains of China and ice-covered Antarctica.

Flying lemurs, the crested ibis, and exotic sea creatures are also explored, with an eye toward ecosystems and the elaborate and delicate balance of earth, animals and man. "Dolphin Warriors" follows the use of dolphins by the military.

Program descriptions:

Tree Spirits

Learn about one of nature's most unusual creatures, the flying lemur. Also called the colugo, this gliding mammal is found only in Southeast Asia and on some of the Philippine Islands. A membrane stretching from forelimbs to tail resembles that of the bat and allows the animal to glide from tree to tree, much like flying squirrels. Like many rain-forest species, they are endangered by loss of their habitat to deforestation.

Life at the Source of Life

Discover the richness of life under the sea, from the very smallest - plankton - to whales, the largest organisms in the ocean.

Giant Panda: "Sho-san" - His first year

Mother panda Jiao-jiao struggles to keep her baby, Sho-san, alive in the bamboo thickets of mountainous Central China. Learn about the difficulties faced in preserving the species, including the animals' lackadaisical reproduction process.

The Crested Ibis: Japan's Lost Natural Heritage

A colony of crested ibis, nearly extinct in Japan, is found in a remote mountainous region of China. The preservation of this rare bird is explored in this program.

Arctic Hunters: The Polar Bears of Wrangel Island

Explore the fascinating lives of this enormous animal.

Dolphin Warriors

This film examines dolphins in captivity and the tragic life of three special dolphins' Buck, Luther and Jake. The life of dolphins in captivity is ultimately a sad one. They live in small-enclosed environments. While depending on their caretakers for food and activities – boredom becomes a problem. They are much less self-sufficient than they are in the wild. But at the same time, dolphins thrill audiences around the world with their lovable, peaceful nature, with their intelligence and with the relationship they develop with the human population. "Dolphin Warriors" examines the complex issue of dolphins in captivity, and its effects on their health and well being. It also looks at moral questions, such as if humans have the right to control such intelligent creatures away from their natural environments.

Encounters with Whales

"Encounters with Whales" is a highly charged, emotional film, timeless in its appeal, that captures rare images of the Southern population of humpback whales. Australian wildlife specialist Tina Dalton takes us on an adventure onboard the 100-year-old tall ship the ‘"Anna Kristina." ’She embarks on a journey with a team of scientists and underwater specialists to observe and interact with the whales of Platypus Bay, off Australia’'s coast. Share with Dalton the heart-rending suspense of the enormous rescue efforts by locals to free a young humpback whale stranded on a nearby beach. Whale research is a highlight, as scientists at the leading edge of technology determine the effects of human intrusion on Platypus Bay.

Antarctica: The Silence Calling

Set in the spectacularly beautiful Antarctica, this film documents how Australia came to lead the world in understanding and conserving this last great wilderness. Australians originally set out 50 years ago to claim territory and resources but ended up protecting Antarctica from exploitation forever. The history of exploration is told through archival film, while contemporary footage, supported by computer animation, explains how science has changed the way the world looks at Antarctica.

50 Million Years Under the Sea

In the last 50 million years, coral reefs have altered very little. However, in the last 50 years, all that is changing with the impact of humanity threatening their very existence. Now marine scientists are starting to piece together how best to preserve the conditions needed for their survival.

Beneath the Blue - The Marine Life of Sydney

Sydney Harbour is regarded as one of the most picturesque waterways in the world. When seen for the first time, it is not hard to be stunned by its beauty. However, for most people, the amazement ends at water level; they are oblivious to the complex, teeming world below. There’s an amazing underwater ecosystem consisting of seahorses, shoals of fish, octopus, cuttlefish, squid, sharks, dolphins, stingrays, colourful tropical fish and prehistoric looking sea dragons. Quite a contrast to the common perception that the bottom of the city harbour is a silt-covered dump.