Nature Shock/Wild Season 4
ZOMBIE SEA LIONS
In 2004 a sea lion is found 100 miles inland on the bonnet of a California Highway Patrol car. The sea lion is nicknamed “CHiPpy” and most people thought he had merely lost his way. But elsewhere sea lions are seen having severe seizures and hundreds wash up dead on the shore. In 1999 people witness pelicans dementedly swinging their heads from side to side, before falling over. Many people thought they were drunk… In 1961 people wake to find thousands of birds slamming into their rooftops and disgorging half-digested anchovies on the pavements. This is the real life event that inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s horror classic The Birds. What could possibly link CHiPpy…pelicans falling from the sky…and Alfred Hitchcock?
THE TRAGEDY OF THE KRUGER CROCODILES
May, 2008. Three decomposing crocodiles are found in Kruger National Park, South Africa. A year later the carcass count is more than two hundred. The crocodile has existed for 200 million years. It survived the extinction of the dinosaurs… so what is decimating one of Africa’s toughest animals today. Necropsies reveal the crocodiles have pansteatitis or ‘orange fat disease’ which turns their tails to rubber. Unable to move, they die a slow, painful death. Experts know how the crocs are dying but not why? This case leads them to investigate the consequences of building a controversial dam that has saved untold people from drought but brought the crocodile population to its knees.
INDIA’S INVISIBLE KILLER
Something is going badly wrong with India’s ecosystem. Leopards of the forest stalk the streets of the city, snatching children from their doorsteps. The feral dog population is soaring and rabies is spreading like wildfire. Strangest of all, 98 percent of India’s 40 million vultures have disappeared. Why is India experiencing this sudden series of seemingly unconnected catastrophes? Wild follows an international team of leading scientists as they discover that the biggest bird die off in the natural world is at the root of India’s problems. We follow the scientific quest to discover the cause of the Asian vulture decline before it is too late and the vultures of India become extinct, causing irreversible damage to India’s fragile ecosystem.
THE SEAL RIPPER
A horrific series of mutilated seal corpses wash up on the remote Atlantic sand bar of Sable Island, their hides are torn off in a spiral. The principle suspect, the great white shark, leaves totally different ‘slash’ marks on seals, and great whites migrate south in the winter when most bodies were being washed up. The only other potential culprit is the Greenland shark but everything we know about it rules it out as a suspect. Partially blind, this twenty foot monster stays deep and is known as a sluggish, bottom dwelling scavenger. But as the seal fatalities increase, biologists are forced to re-examine their opinions about this mysterious creature… and what they discover changes science forever…