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Natural World

  • Season 31
  • 10 episodes
  • Nature
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Episode 1: Natural World: Living with Baboons

Summary

Mat Pines' five-year study of the lives of hamadryas baboons in Ethiopia, in which he lived alongside the primates in the Awash National Park, observing their behaviour and gaining acceptance in their society. As his project draws to a close, his favourite baboon, who he has called Critical, is trying to find a family and fend off male rivals - while Mat attempts to foster a greater understanding of the creatures among the local Afar tribe, which has traditionally regarded them as enemies. Narrated by David Attenborough.

Review

Biologist Mat Pines has been observing baboons in Ethiopia’s Awash National Park for five years and they’re comfortable with each other. In a touching sequence one young baboon with long, dexterous fingers, even starts to groom the back of Pines’s shirt.

They are scintillating animals with enormously expressive faces. For example, when they raise their eyebrows it’s a very big clue that they are not at all pleased. But they’re ruthless and scrappy, too. It’s a violent patriarchal society where the males abduct the mates of others in cacophonous fights over territory and females. These riots can be hugely destructive and age is no bar to injury; one youngster is horribly wounded after an affray involving many hundreds of baboons brawling over ownership of a favourite clifftop.

But they’re under threat from their human neighbours, cocky, gun-toting young men of the Afar tribe, and before Pines leaves, he wants to try to persuade the Afars that coexistence is possible.

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show.

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
NarratorDavid Attenborough
ContributorMat Pines

Crew

rolename
DirectorRob Sullivan
ProducerRob Sullivan
Series editorSteve Greenwood

All episodes

  • Episode 1

    Natural World: Living with Baboons

    Summary

    Mat Pines' five-year study of the lives of hamadryas baboons in Ethiopia, in which he lived alongside the primates in the Awash National Park, observing their behaviour and gaining acceptance in their society. As his project draws to a close, his favourite baboon, who he has called Critical, is trying to find a family and fend off male rivals - while Mat attempts to foster a greater understanding of the creatures among the local Afar tribe, which has traditionally regarded them as enemies. Narrated by David Attenborough.

    Review

    Biologist Mat Pines has been observing baboons in Ethiopia’s Awash National Park for five years and they’re comfortable with each other. In a touching sequence one young baboon with long, dexterous fingers, even starts to groom the back of Pines’s shirt.

    They are scintillating animals with enormously expressive faces. For example, when they raise their eyebrows it’s a very big clue that they are not at all pleased. But they’re ruthless and scrappy, too. It’s a violent patriarchal society where the males abduct the mates of others in cacophonous fights over territory and females. These riots can be hugely destructive and age is no bar to injury; one youngster is horribly wounded after an affray involving many hundreds of baboons brawling over ownership of a favourite clifftop.

    But they’re under threat from their human neighbours, cocky, gun-toting young men of the Afar tribe, and before Pines leaves, he wants to try to persuade the Afars that coexistence is possible.

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show.

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    NarratorDavid Attenborough
    ContributorMat Pines

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorRob Sullivan
    ProducerRob Sullivan
    Series editorSteve Greenwood

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