Animal Planet

Animal Planet – Sunday 22 June, 8.30pm

When Dutch sailors arrived on the island of Mauritius in 1602 they were greeted by an unknown, turkey-sized flightless bird. They called it ‘Dodo’. Then they tried eating it. Within 80 years the dodo was gone. The first celebrity extinction, notorious for its non-existence, the dodo was the first animal to be so effortlessly wiped out by the interference of humans. Now more species than ever are threatened. If other animals are to avoid the dodo’s fate they would do well to learn from its experience and to follow A Dodo’s Guide to Surviving Extinction.

Animal Planet – Sunday 8 June, 8.30pm

The stunning landscapes of the Isle of Mull provide a beautiful backdrop for this insider’s guide to its wildlife. It’s the perfect place to film as the island’s blend of mountains, forests, coastline and moorland is home to a huge array of wildlife. Otters, minke whales, seals, golden eagles and rare white-tailed eagles represent just a small part of the island’s incredible biodiversity. Join eminent cameraman Gordon Buchanan as he turns the lens on his birthplace to give an unparalleled insight into the wild characters of this remarkable island.

Animal Planet – Sunday 1 June, 8.30pm

This show reveals the downside of exotic excursions and introduces the more infectious side of international travel. First-hand accounts, macro-photography, internal body graphics and close-up dramatic reconstructions, bring to life the horrific experiences of some seriously unfortunate travellers. Uncovering the wriggling nightmares that are the worst holiday souvenirs you could possibly imagine, this program features creatures that not only treat us as bed and board but breakfast too!

Animal Planet – Sunday 25 May, 8.30pm

A highly successful hunter, the Killer Whale is the most widespread mammal on the planet apart from man. With new, recently discovered locations and behaviours, this is a revolutionary film, revealing the Killer Whale’s winning formula. What really sets this mammal apart, is the way in which it can development different cultures. The whales are able to pass on knowledge from generation to generation, enabling each type of Killer Whale to have a distinct culture.

Animal Planet – Sunday 18 May, 8.30pm

As a clumsy seal makes its way onto a wild and rocky shore to eat, play, mate or rest in the sun, its life couldn’t appear simpler. However, this film reveals a different picture of these curiously appealing animals. From the poles to the tropics, pups and giants are leaving their ecological footprint everywhere in the ocean. They are regarded as the thugs of the sea who are fighting their way to dominate the world’s oceans. Viewers witness the seals rip open crabs, tear apart fish and create havoc with fisheries. Elephant seals, famous for their land battles, bully sperm whales into diving deeper and further away for squid.

Animal Planet – Mondays from 19 May, 9.30pm

Relying on muscle power alone, migrating animals traverse the most hostile environments on Earth which are fraught with danger. Can a human possibly compete in this ultimate survival challenge? Join Steve Leonard as he follows individual animals on their epic journeys to gain a whole new insight into their lives. From a grey whale calf attempting its first arctic migration, to African wild dogs traversing miles of savannah to find a new mate, these are stories of real adventure. Viewers witness battles with predators, marvel at fantastic landscapes and experience great natural spectacles and emotions first hand. Working alongside intrepid wildlife experts, Steve unravels new discoveries in animal biology, revealing how these animals achieve their amazing feats. The question is, will both man and beast make their final destination?

Animal Planet – Wednesdays from 21 May, 9.30pm

Told from a pro animal and conservation perspective, viewers learn the human and forensic story behind an animal attack as the victim faces their fear by using the experience to change his or her life for the better. Dave Salmoni helps the survivors to achieve this by visiting the attack site with each of them, recounting the fatal day they nearly lost their life.

Animal Planet – Sunday 4 May, 8.30pm

This walking with Dinosaurs special, propels viewers back to wander amongst the biggest creatures of all time. Recent evidence has revolutionised our ideas about what was big in the age of dinosaurs. In a time when monstrous creatures ruled the earth, South America was the land of the giants. To help viewers gauge a sense of the enormity of this world, we are led by a presenter who walks among these gigantic creatures, interacting with them as he searches to fulfil his ambition – to witness the largest predator bringing down the largest prey.

Animal Planet – Tuesdays from 6 May, 9.30pm

Animal Planet International invited potential wildlife film-makers from around the world to audition for Unearthed 2, an intensive wildlife filmmaking course. Four lucky people from as far a field as India and New Zealand were chosen to fly to Shamwari in South Africa to begin their training as wildlife filmmakers under the guidance of experts, Andrew Baron and Australian zoologist, documentarian and television presenter, Lyndal Davies. New Zealand contestant, Sebastian van der Zwan said of being one of the chosen four, “I haven’t been this excited since the Spice Girls announced their reunion”. At the end of the training each contestant produces their own short film, within the Reserve, on a topic of their choice. These films are then reviewed by a panel of judges and presented at a gala dinner held at the Reserve where the Unearthed Filmmaker of the Year is announced.

Animal Planet – Sunday 27 April, 8.30pm

Camouflaged roving cameras bring the viewer within a paw’s swipe of the world’s bears, offering the most intimate portrayal of these engaging creatures ever. State-of-the-art techniques help to unravel the lives of the giant panda, the brown bear, its white cousin the polar bear and the less well-known spectacled bear. Cameras plunge into the water as bears dive for salmon, they are with polar bears as they swim between ice-flows and they follow the antics of some of the cutest spectacled bear cubs around! The cameras also penetrate the bamboo curtain to gain an astonishing glimpse into the private lives of pandas – even catching them doing headstands. Perhaps most astonishing of all is ‘Magicam’, a caterpillar-tracked device that uses lessons from the world of magic to take on the appearance of the local environment, making it all but invisible to its enchanting subjects.