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By 1 August 2019 | Categories: news

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Ahead of World Elephant day on the 12th, National Geographic Wild has announced that it will be celebrating these gentle, giant animals with some dedicated programming on the day.

Why do elephants deserve some special attention? Well apart from the fact that they are constantly threatened by poachers seeking to separate them from their tusks, they are both the biggest of the big five, as well as the largest land mammal on Earth, weighing up to seven tons each. They are also renown for having long memories and being family orientated, with complex emotions and support structures.

“We are in a unique position in Africa, in that our continent is home to thousands of these gentle giants. Their highly developed social structures carry lessons for us all. World Elephant Day is an opportunity to honour these incredible animals, highlight the threats that they face in an ever-changing world, and the need to protect them and their environment.” commented Evert Van Der Veer, for Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company Africa.

Appropriately the first of the programmes airing on the 12th will begin the line up by focusing in on a single elephant and her relationship with her herd. Elephant Queen, starting at 13:15 central African time, follows the old elephant matriarch, Mensah, who must now take her young calf and the herd to safety, after the tragic death of her mother. She is their final hope and must lead them into their ancient feeding grounds. 

It is followed by Elephant King of the Kalahari at 14:05, which showcases the 7 000 mile trek that thousands of elephants make in Botswana in search of food and water. It’s not just the desert and the dry seasons that they have to contend with, as they are shadowed by some of the most ruthless predators on earth - lions.

The third programme, An Elephant’s World, at 14:50, follows the journeys of elephant herds in Kenya, India, and Mali as they migrate towards food and safety, using knowledge shared over generations. It will also give viewers a glimpse into the minds of elephants, showing their unique abilities to communicate, educate, and sympathize, which provide them with extraordinary skills to survive.  

Last but not least is Baby Elephant Rescue, at 15:38. Sure to tug at the heartstrings even further, this programme focuses on a perilously ill and orphaned elephant calf that has been found abandoned. He's the victim of the growing battle for space and resources between people and elephants in Sri Lanka. The heartrending question is whether he will be rescued in time. 

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