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Beginning Wednesday July 16, 2014 on WETA TV26 & HD, enjoy wildlife like you’ve never seen it before! Introducing two new PBS wildlife programs: My Wild Affair and Sex in the Wild and reintroducing NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years. Tune into WETA TV26 & HD Wednesdays from 8-11pm for these exciting natural history shows. Read on for more information on each upcoming episode and when to watch!
My Wild Affair airs Wednesdays at 8pm
In this four part series, hear extraordinary stories of the bonds between humans and their animal companions.
Part 1 “The Elephant Who Found a Mom” airs on July 16 at 8pm
Discover the intense bond between Aisha, a baby elephant orphan, and Daphne Sheldrick, the woman who became her human foster parent. Daphne uses the lessons learned from Aisha’s life to help her save more than 150 orphans over the next 40 years.
Part 2 “The Ape Who Went to College” airs on July 23 at 8pm
Hear the incredible story of Chantek, the orangutan raised as a human child on an American university campus during the 70s and 80s. Taught to speak in sign language, he is now living among his own kind at Zoo Atlanta, although he describes himself as an “orangutan person.”
Part 3 “The Rhino Who Joined the Family” airs on July 30 at 8pm
Rupert is an orphaned black rhinoceros was brought up in the suburban family home of wildlife veterinarian Dr. John Condy. Rupert captured the hearts of the vet’s four young children before his eventual release into the wild. Fifty years later, the children are searching for clues to their childhood friend’s fate.
Part 4 “The Seal Who Came Home” airs on August 6 at 8pm
Witness the true story of Andre, a two-day-old wild harbor seal who, in 1961, was rescued from certain death by arborist Harry Goodridge. Over the next 25 years, Andre and Harry established a friendship that brought Andre into the world of humans without Andre’s ever having to sacrifice his wildness.
NOVA: Australia's First 4 Billion Years airs Wednesdays at 9pm
Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of its origins than Australia. This four part NOVA miniseries, hosted by geologist Richard Smith, takes viewers on a fabulous adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today.
Part 1 “Awakening” airs on July 16 at 9pm
First stop in this road trip through time is Western Australia, around four and a half billion years ago, where we encounter the Earth shortly after its fiery birth. It’s a violent, poisonous planet, but not all is what it first seems.
Part 2 “Life Explodes” airs on July 23 at 9pm
Meet Planet Earth’s forgotten pioneers: the scuttling arthropod armies that invaded the shores, and the waves of green revolutionaries whose battle for the light pushed plant-life across the face of a barren continent. Revolution continued underwater as well, with armor-plated fish experimenting with teeth, jaws, sex and lungs.
Part 3 “Monsters” airs on July 30 at 9pm
Come face to face with the previously unknown reptilian rulers of prehistoric Australia. But reptiles didn’t have the world all to themselves. Mammals like the enigmatic platypus lived alongside them, ready for their moment in the sun. And 65 million years ago, they saw that day arrive.
Part 4 “Strange Creatures: airs on August 6 at 9pm
In the wake of the catastrophe—the asteroid impact 65 million years ago believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs--Australia was set adrift on a lonely voyage in southern seas. This is a tale of calamity and conquest; how a conspiracy of climate, biology and geology shaped the Earth we now call home.
Sex in the Wild airs Wednesdays at 10pm
This four-part series, presented by anatomist Joy Reidenberg and veterinarian Mark Evans, examines the reproductive behaviors and biology of four species — elephants, orangutans, kangaroos and dolphins — and takes an in-depth look at how these animals find and woo the opposite sex. It also explores how they mate, give birth and raise their young in extreme environments.
Part 1 “Elephants” airs on July 16 at 10pm
Reidenberg and Evans follow Kiti, a pregnant female elephant, through the birth of her baby. In addition, Evans travels with a group attempting to control the elephant population (and learns how to produce a bull elephant sperm sample) while also maintaining genetic diversity, through chemical birth control as Botswana copes with increasing numbers of animals.
Part 2 “Kangaroos” airs on July 23 at 10pm
The scientists chronicle the birth of a kangaroo joey and its development. The episode explores koala conservation efforts in Brisbane that use artificial insemination to boost the numbers of koala babies. Reidenberg visits a pioneering breeding program at the University of Adelaide to learn more about preservation efforts to save the extremely endangered southern brush-tailed rock-wallaby in South Australia.
Part 3 “Orangutans” airs on July 30 at 10pm
Reidenberg and Evans travel to an orangutan sanctuary deep in the rainforest of Borneo to explore the reproduction challenges of one of humans’ closest cousins — the orangutan. The team examines how the alpha male “kings” exert their power over other males and seduce females in their territory. Devoting a lengthy seven years to raising a single orangutan baby is key to the success of the species — similar to humans.
Part 4 “Dolphins” airs on August 6 at 10pm
In this episode, Reidenberg travels to New Zealand to uncover the mating strategies and anatomies of dusky dolphins, who form mating groups that leap from the water in perfect unison. In a high-speed chase, males pursue females and rapidly mate with them — in just two seconds. Viewers can witness a dolphin birth and learn the difficulties of breastfeeding underwater.