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Women in the Wild


In conjunction with International Women's Day on March 8, Animal Planet celebrates women of the world with WOMEN IN THE WILD. This special programming event showcases the spirit, dedication, and amazing achievements of some women who have dedicated their lives to saving animals. Our female hosts - including Natalie Portman, Lyndal Davies, Tanya Streeter, Saba Douglas-Hamilton and Charlotte Uhlenbroek - offer their perspectives on wildlife and conservation in seven inspiring programmes. WOMEN IN THE WILD airs as a six-hour marathon on Monday, March 2 from 1600 hrs (4:00 pm SIN/HK).


Every year without fail, Jane Goodall breaks her punishing 300-day-a-year schedule of lecture tours and conservation work to return to the chimpanzee research station she made famous - Gombe. But this year's visit comes at a critical time. A revolution has broken out among Jane's favourite group of chimps, and Frodo, the brutal and bullying leader, has been violently overthrown. Jane will return to Gombe at a time of crisis with a power struggle about to erupt. JANE GOODALL'S RETURN TO GOMBE reveals a new side to this passionate conservationist, as she searches for the vanquished Frodo and describes the groundbreaking research, thoughts, beliefs and emotions she has invested in wild chimpanzees and protecting primates all over the world.

In KINGDOM OF THE ELEPHANTS we explore the complex bond between the elephants and the people of Thailand. This is an intimate tale of the kingdom's epic history - a history of war, love, friendship, and strife as told by a father to his daughter, a young mahout (elephant driver) in training. At the heart of this story is a modern day tale of a boy and his elephant. On a larger scale, it is a tale of how elephants and their mahouts helped shape a nation.

Famously bad tempered, myopic and solitary, the black rhino has a dauntingly aggressive reputation. Little understood and impossible to study, the private life of rhinos has remained an enigma until now. In SABA AND THE RHINO'S SECRET, Saba Douglas-Hamilton takes on the challenge and walks among the rhinos to reveal their never-before-seen, intensely social world.

Imagine sleeping rough with a toddler in a forest full of danger, on the edge of starvation. On top of that, you have to fight in a battle with your baby on your back. Could you cope? Welcome to the world of Madagascar's most famous residents, the ring-tailed lemurs. Join Charlotte Uhlenbroek in LEMURS OF MADAGASCAR as she travels to the island's magical forests to immerse herself in the soap opera lives of a troop of ringtails, as they struggle through the peak of the dry season.

Next, in DIVING WITH WHALES, follow world free-diving champion Tanya Streeter as she returns to her Caribbean home to spend two weeks on a quest for the experience of a lifetime: diving with humpback whales. Every winter, the Turks and Caicos Islands are hosts to the great natural wonder of 2,500 humpback whales who stop off on their southward migration. Tanya uses her free-diving skills to the full as she gets the privilege of being part of their world. Along the way, get up close and personal with turtles, stingrays, Jo-Jo the dolphin - a national treasure who loves being pampered - and reef sharks and lemon sharks who make night dives especially exciting!

Bear bile is believed to have healing properties, according to traditional Chinese medicine. Every day in China, more than 7,000 Asiatic black bears - known as Moon Bears due to the crescent shaped markings on their chests - are tortured for their bile. The bile is "milked" from their gall bladders through a tube that protrudes out of the bears' abdomen. In 1993, Jill Robinson, a young British woman with a passion for animals, smuggled her way onto a bear farm where she witnessed this cruelty. The emotional experience led her to found the Moon Bear Rescue, through which she fought an uphill battle together with her cohorts Gail Cochrane, a Scottish wildlife vet specialist, and Christy Yang Min, a mainland journalist and public relations expert. Follow their struggle as they fight to relieve the bears from their living hell in MOON BEARS - JOURNEY TO FREEDOM.

The WOMEN IN THE WILD special wraps up with SAVING A SPECIES: GORILLAS ON THE BRINK WITH NATALIE PORTMAN. In this edition of the multiple-Emmy nominated series, acclaimed actress Natalie Portman (from Star Wars) journeys deep into Rwanda's rainforest in search of the rare mountain gorilla. There are only a few hundred of these spectacular creatures left in the wild and their survival depends on a committed conservation effort. World-renowned animal expert and conservationist Jack Hanna is Natalie's guide as we follow their trek to learn more about this amazing endangered species.