Focussing in on human nature

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Animal documentaries on television tend to adopt one of two forms. One is where the focus is very much on the animals and their behaviour with little on screen contribution from human beings.

Then there are the documentaries where the emphasis is very much on the interaction between human beings and animals. On Sunday at 5.35m on BBC1, Nature’s Miracle Orphans returns – this is very much of the second form. While it is about some interesting animals, it is also about the human beings who are dedicated to looking after orphaned animals.

It is features their attempts to reintegrate them into the wild. At times this can be rather difficult because the people concerned have been involved in looking after the animals for quite some time and it can be rather difficult to let them go. The series is presented by Lucy Cooke, a zoologist and Patrick Aryee, a biologist. In the first of four programmes Patrick is at a rescue centre in Costa Rica where he meets Robin an anteater. Robin’s surrogate parent has to be absolutely certain that if the anteater is released into the wild then he is able to look after himself. Lucy is in Zimbabwe where she meets Roxy who is looking after Moyo, a baby Africa elephant. Moyo experienced some problems when very young and is now afraid of water.

Sunday afternoon is popular for natural history programmes and with its mixture of human endeavour and likeable animals this will prove to be a popular series. Ian K