Episode 3 | New Blood
Preview | Episode 3 | New Blood
Examine a huge relocation mission to bring back zebra and eland to the park.
About Episode 3 | New Blood
Premiered: Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Off The Fence Bob and the lion team find one of the female cubs with a life-threatening wound and face a race against time to save her. Lions aren’t the only ones who need help. During the war, most of the big grazers were killed for their meat. With less than 20 zebra and 100 eland, the park needs to make a tough choice to save them. A massive relocation mission is launched to bring them back.
But what happened to Gorongosa when these big grazers weren’t around to eat the grasses? It’s these kind of mysteries that are attracting the best scientists in the world. Harvard insect expert, Piotr Naskrecki looks to the micro scale for answers and discovers a surprising hero that kept Gorongosa alive after the war.
Facts From the Episode
Since the restoration project started in 2008, some animals, like the Waterbuck, are bouncing back. There are now 34,000 of them, and it’s the biggest known population in Africa.
Praying mantis are the top predators of the insect world.
When all the big grazers were taken out in the war, they left behind a massive open space stacked with food. But it didn't last long. In a matter of a few months it was completely over run with millions of grasshoppers who kept eating until they brought the ecosystem back to where it was before.
Praying mantis are one of very few insects that actually return your gaze and look at you.
The park has a very special kind of zebra — a rare subspecies called the Crawshay. They look similar to other zebra, but their unique coat pattern sets them apart. There used to be 3,500, but now with less than 20, the park made a tough choice to bring more in from outside.
Zebras are grazers that feed only on grasses, chomping down tall grass. Other herbivores like wildebeest will follow after and eat the short, nutritious grass.
Despite the persistent misconception, the sound of grasshoppers is not produced by rubbing their legs together (in fact, no insect makes sound in this way), but rather by dragging the inner side of the hind femur against a thick vein on the front wing.