I did a lot of tv watching this weekend. Unfortunately, for some of the good stuff, I fell asleep, but didn't miss a lot.
The first show I want to mention was the one called "A Stranger among Bears". It's a story about a guy named Vandergar, who lives in a remote property in Alaska, and has habituated Bears to him. Yeah, if you are thinking T. Treadwell, basically the same. Anyway, the black bears that come into his property are quite used to him, totally unafraid. In this episode, there was a videographer that was there to get some good footage of the Vandergar and the bears. This idiot videographer decided a good shot would be him up a tree between a mother bear and her cub. He got soundly nailed on the ankle by the mother. You would THINK that this Vandergar character would have made clear to this guy not to do this. Anyway, it was interesting, but unsettling. Next week's program highlights Grizzly bears coming in to the property/house. Now, Grizzly bears EAT black bears. This is just not a good thing. Mr. Vandergar is not the pied piper, and is not able to will the animals to just get along. Someone is going to get hurt- if not on that episode, some time. I would have no problem if the bears were allowed to come up to the property, but Mr. Vandergar kept his distance- this would keep the bears a bit off balance, and they would not be so bold. Not only is he risking his life, but he is also doing the same to the Bears- very easy pickings for hunters. Why do people become so arrogant, that they think that they can rule predators- that is, because they THINK they understand them, feel safe. While I like to see video of Bears up close, I don't think that the cost is worth it. How do you feel?
Second program was called "World's Loneliest Animals". It was about some critically endangered animals that the human race are now trying to save. The Rafeous Turtle in China- is almost extinct. Breeding is difficult because the males will sometimes kill the females. In this program they did get a successful breeding, but none of the fertile eggs survived. A bigger problem is that the rivers in China where this animal lives are so polluted, there may not be a place for this species to go if they DO save it. They also did a story on the Lemurs in Madagascar. 80% of the forest in Madagascar is gone. I forget the #, but most of the original Lemur species are gone. Duke University has a facility for breeding/raising 20 different species of Lemur (I would love to work there!), but they too, don't know where the animals will be put, unless this removal of habitat stops.
There was a story about the Iberian Lynx. Now, I had fallen asleep in the beginning of this, so when I woke up and heard them talking about fighting between the cats, I thought they were talking about Fishing cats- breeding is troublesome, because just as often as the males/females breed- they fight- and kill each other. But, no, it was about the Iberian Lynx. The cubs fight as well, and will kill each other. So, at the facility where they rear these cats, they have to be ready to go in and break up fights, and try to keep the animals separate when fighting times begin (these fighting periods occur a specific times/year).
Then, they talked about the Black Footed Ferret, and the work being done to rear them. The facility was pretty cool, and they have done a good job getting these animals built back up- BUT they are all inter-related. Oh, one little side note- everyone thought the BF Ferret was extinct, but a sheepdog named "Shep" brought the carcass of one home to his owner, and thus began they search- and finding of the last known colony... Neat eh?
It was a great program, but ended with the statement that the future of these animals is bleak, because we, as a society just will not stop growing, and there just is no room for habitat for these animals...
Okay, this is getting long, but this was really good. It was about a woman named Irena Sandler. Irena Sandler was responsible for saving 2500 children during the Nazi occupation of Poland. She worked with others, and moved them out of the ghettos to Polish families who raised the children as their own. Ms. Sandler died in 2008, at the age of 98. She spoke at the end of the program, and asked that on this mother's day, we reflect on those mothers who had to give up their children, to save them. It was a good show, and it always stuns me how NOT long ago this was. 1941, is really not that long ago, for these horrid ways of treating fellow humans to happen. I think kids these days are probably not taught a lot about WW2, and especially the Nazi occupation and killings. I think that is a mistake. Too easily people get sucked in, and follow leaders even when what they do is completely wrong. We need to realize that we are only as good as our deeds.
So, yeah, lots of good TV, glad I was able to see it all :)