An elephant herd in Namibia is observed, as the matriarch, called Knob Nose, leads eighteen other elephants through the unforgiving terrain. Also: Ginger Mauney and her veterinarian husband present their findings on the animals.
A look at big cats reports on four endangered species. Included: Siberian tigers, seen in a Swedish zoo; American mountain lions, seen in the Idaho wilderness; Amazonian jaguars, which trappers are driving deeper into the jungle; and Asiatic lions, observed in a forest in southwest India.
The charitable works of Edmund Hillary, the first to climb Mount Everest (May 1953), in Nepal's Khumbu region. Hillary is instrumental in building schools and health-care facilities. Also: Hillary is seen celebrating the 30th anniversary of the climb with his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay.
Three denizens of the American West: coyotes, rattlesnakes and mustangs. This report shows coyotes foraging during a harsh Wyoming winter; a New Mexico couple who study rattlers; and Nevada's wild horses competing with ranchers' livestock for water.
The National Park Service, focusing on whether the parks should provide more services to visitors or remain protected wildernesses. Included: scenes of Yellowstone, Denali (Alaska) and the Grand Canyon.
Modern Norsemen in the Faeroe Islands, midway between Scotland and Iceland. Cameras record the Norsemen's lifestyle, which includes herding sheep, fishing in the North Atlantic and hunting whales. Written and directed by George A. Vicas.
A portrait of L.S.B. Leakey includes a review of the anthropologist's work, and reminiscences by his wife, son and colleagues. Clips show Leakey at a site in Africa, and on a speaking tour shortly before his death in 1972.
A look at outdoor life on America's waterways, as experienced by six youngsters and their two adult leaders on a raft and kayak voyage down Idaho's Salmon River. Their adventures include banding a young golden eagle and living off the land. Also: a look at the Hudson and Potomac rivers, choked with pollution, and Florida's Everglades.
Memorable moments from the long-running series include Dr. Leakey's study of primates and evolution; a voyage on the QE2; China's efforts to breed giant pandas in captivity. Also: an exploration of the human body; a visit to Siberia; a trip down the Volga River; and a look at gray whales off the coast of Mexico.
Yellowstone National Park and Alaska are visited to study the grizzly---an animal "celebrated and romanticized". Included: preservation efforts; scenes of bruins catching and devouring fish; and interviews with researchers.
Gold---how it's sought, smuggled, traded and hoarded. Included: black miners in South Africa; fortune hunters searching for ancient tribal tombs in Colombia; Italian goldsmiths making jewelry; and the London gold exchange.
A portrait of Australia, focusing on sports and life in the bleak outback, where ranchers battle drought, floods and a prevailing loneliness. On film: Australians in the disastrous WWI Gallipoli campaign.
A portrait of Ethiopia, an African kingdom dominated by religious traditions dating back to Solomon and Sheba. Included: an Easter celebration; 600-year-old churches; a monastery funeral; Emperor Haile Selassie at prayer; totem worshippers; a crocodile hunt.
Whale species in captivity, free in the Pacific and being hunted by man are examined. Included: the birth of a killer whale at California's Marineland; the commercial slaughter of whales in the 19th and 20th centuries; and footage of “singing” humpbacks off Maui.
"Australia's Animal Mysteries"---and scientific efforts to unravel them. Included: some of the 50 species of kangaroos; the platypus, a duck-billed, egg-laying mammal; the koala (a marsupial, not a bear); and the flying opossum.
A 1965 documentary about chimpanzee research in Tanzania, conducted by Jane Goodall. Films of the chimpanzee community illustrate Goodall's findings: the primates improvise and use tools---a vital step in the evolution of man.
The origins and evolution of humans are examined through archival and contemporary footage. Included: Richard Leakey's 1984 unearthing of a 1.5 million-year-old Homo erectus skeleton; and Ofar Bar Yosef's research in Israel of a cave once inhabited by Neanderthals.
An examination of Great Britain studies the country's daily life and traditional pageantry. Included: views of herring fishermen putting out to sea in their wooden boats; a youth being apprenticed to a company of lightermen, thereby participating in a family occupation dating to 1666; and a segment on life on the island of Sark.