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E3 of 7
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Series 1 - Episode 3
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Older children should love this series, with its cool hunts and battles and its cute moments (such as polar bear cubs taking their first, tentative swim). But bear in mind that younger children could be mildly traumatised by some of the more brutal encounters.
For instance, this episode includes a sequence where killer whales hunt a lone minke whale across 20 miles of ocean, like the ultimate marine bullies, jostling it, barging it and ultimately — well, you can imagine what happens in the end. Similarly, when skuas (which are hard to love) dive out of the sky to pluck fluffy little penguin chicks from in front of their parents, it isn’t pretty.
Because we’re learning about summer at the poles, there are a lot of parents-protecting-young scenes, some of which go better than others. It’s brilliant watching the way a snowy owl defends her chicks (from those skuas again) by somersaulting so her talons are uppermost — a fantastic trick. But it’s the extraordinary musk oxen, like big shaggy wardrobes, who deliver this week’s best bit of drama, as they face off against two hungry wolves.
How animals in the polar regions adapt to the summer weather. In a colony of 400,000 king penguins the adults go surfing and the chicks take mud-baths to cool off, while polar bear cubs take their first swimming lessons as the ice they inhabit melts away. A minke whale is hunted by a family of killer whales, succumbing to their battering after two hours, and Adelie penguins try to prevent their chicks being snatched by skuas.
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