The Great Melt • episode "1/6" Nature's Great Events

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The summer melt of Arctic ice provides opportunities for millions of animals.

Nature's Great Events • 6 episodes •

The Great Melt

The summer melt of Arctic ice provides opportunities for millions of animals.

Nature

The Great Salmon Run

A look at the annual return of millions of salmon to the streams where they were born.

Nature

The Great Migration

The story of a lion family's struggle to survive until the return of the great migration.

Nature

The Great Tide

A look at the sardine run, which happens each winter along the South African coast.

Nature

The Great Flood

The great flood in the Okavango turns 4,000 square miles of arid plains into a wetland.

Nature

The Great Feast

Whales and sea lions alike journey to the seas off Alaska to feed on the plankton bloom.

Nature

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Commuters

More than a billion people around the world commute into cities each day, and they are not alone. The world's wildlife is commuting too. A steady flow of animals journey in and out of cities to find food and shelter or to start a family. Leaving the wilderness they must overcome the unique challenges that the urban world throws at them to benefit from the opportunities on offer. This episode explores whether the secret to an animal's success in this fast-changing world is to keep one foot in the wild and one in the city, becoming a wild commuter. It seems that all over the world animals are finding that the city can offer opportunities that are harder to come by in the natural world. Some, like African penguins, whose population has plummeted by 80 per cent in the last 50 years, find shelter in the city. By nesting in Cape Town they are safer from predators, and with relatively easy access to their fishing grounds they have the best of both worlds. Many other animals commute into cities because they are filled with food. In St Lucia, South Africa, that includes hippos. Able to eat up to fifty kilograms of grass in a single sitting, they have developed a taste for the short, manicured lawns and come to town every night to dine out. St Lucia's human residents have learnt to give the hippos the space they need during their night-time raids. Black bears need to eat more than 20,000 calories a day to survive their six-month hibernation through winter, and using their acute sense of smell they can easily track down leftovers. In North America they come into towns and cities in search of food. Many animals displaced from their natural habitat are now using their wild skill set in the city to help fulfill their needs. Could this be the beginning of a new and very modern migration?

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Designed for a Welsh Life

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