From a mother’s touching story of loyalty and survival to an intimate glimpse of birth, parenthood and emotional evolution, Animal Planet celebrates mothers of all kind with two back-to-back premieres this Mother’s Day. First, follow a wise old elephant matriarch, Echo, as she guides her family through drought and famine in Southern Kenya when ECHO AND THE ELEPHANTS OF AMBOSELI premieres with two half-hour episodes on Sunday, May 9 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Then, from lion to lemur and hippo to chimpanzee, follow the emotional journey of BBC’s one-hour special WILD MOTHERS AND BABIES on Sunday, May 9 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT. Capturing sophisticated animal behaviour, culture and emotion in these two breathtaking premieres, Animal Planet sheds light on the development of animal parenting and displays with remarkable cinematography and storytelling how surprisingly “human” these creatures can be.
ECHO AND THE ELEPHANTS OF AMBOSELI (13X30)
Sunday, May 9 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
As the oldest female elephant and head of her family, Echo guides four generations of her relatives through the cruel famine that follows the failure of the latest rains. Alongside 1,500 other wild African elephants, Echo must protect her family from attack by lions and from the growing conflict with fierce Maasai warriors. Observing her – as they have been for the past four decades – are American scientist Cynthia Moss and her team of researchers from the Amboseli Trust for Elephants. As Echo nears the end of her life and prepares to pass on the reigns of her African kingdom, Moss and team watch nearby as she leads her family out of harm’s way, steers clear of battling tuskers, prevents clashes with neighbours over water, crops or grazing and avoids natural calamities like deadly mudtraps. ECHO AND THE ELEPHANTS OF AMBOSELI is an awe-inspiring portrayal of animal leadership, maternal care, communication and survival.
WILD MOTHERS AND BABIES (1X60)
Sunday, May 9 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
The most important moments of an animal’s life are the first few days after its birth; it’s at this point that the bonds are forged between parent and child. However, in the wild, there are additional dangers to consider. For animals with fewer young, the effort and time taken with each offspring is greater, yet the babies are also less developed and more helpless – rendering them extremely vulnerable. One of the biggest threats they face often comes from their own kind. A newborn can frequently cause jealousy, and infanticide is a common problem in the animal world; a baby languor monkey is most likely to die at the hands of a fellow monkey, while male lions who are desperate to retain their authority within a pride will kill any cubs they feel that may not be theirs. Combining spectacular cinematography with the daily struggles of raising a newborn, WILD MOTHERS AND BABIES reaches some surprising conclusions about human biology and emotional evolution.