The Greatest Animal Migration

2014, Nature  -  43 min Leave a Comment
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We're setting off on an African adventure. Our destination is the famous Serengeti. We're taking you along on the greatest animal migration in the world, when millions of wildebeest make the long journey from Tanzania to Kenya. It's a journey into the unknown. On their odyssey, the wildebeest will meet very different neighbors. There are also some spotted and striped traveling companions on this 1,000 kilometer march.

Unfortunately, not all travel acquaintances mean well, those who get separated from the group are particularly vulnerable. The great wildebeest migration is representative of the merciless cycle of life and death. But as yet, everything is peaceful that's why the plain has turned into a playground for the 200,000 migrating zebras. And sometimes zebras and lions even think alike.

The vultures always manage to find plenty of food during the wildebeest migration. Next door, it looks like the hyenas are enjoying a cozy siesta, but hyenas should never be underestimated. Even though it can seem that butter wouldn't melt in their mouth, their bad reputation is not unjustified.

It's time for the wildebeest to move on and we're staying with them. The herd stretches out to maybe 40 kilometers in length. For many young animals it's a first test of strength. Destination for the early stage of the track is the dusty riverbank. That's where the wildebeest want to cross the river, but there's a problem. The river is occupied by hippos. Although hippopotamuses are vegetarians they're incredibly heavy so it's a better idea to wait until the "swimming pool" is free again.

The herd immediately gets going, there's no time to lose. While the first animals have found a soft spot from which to leap into the water the bulk of the animals are heading towards the steep banks. One young animal was unable to keep up and has become separated from the group. Tired, it steps into the mud to cross the water but the herd doesn't wait for strugglers.

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