Great Zebra Exodus
Full Episode

Watch the film Great Zebra Exodus online:

Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans are home to the largest zebra population in southern Africa, but it’s not an easy life. There is no permanent water in the arid saltpans, so thousands of zebras are dependent on isolated summer rains for their survival. Fleeting thundershowers produce islands of grass scattered across the otherwise barren landscape.

When the seasonal storms end, and the dry season begins, the striped nomads start their long trek west to the Boteti River for fresh drinking water. There, water is plentiful, but the zebras must travel further and further from the river to reach adequate grazing before trudging miles back to quench their thirst. It’s a grueling routine that will continue until the storm clouds return, the dry season ends, and the zebras can return home where they will welcome newborn foals into their families.

Great Zebra Exodus explores parenthood and the fragility of young life—from zebras to lapwings to meerkats. It’s a tale of loyalty and sacrifice, of home and exile, of death and new life, set against the backdrop of one of Africa’s most surreal landscapes.

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  • Mark Waltermire

    when will The Zebra Exodus be released online to the public.Could you please let your viewers know how long this will be available online before it is locked away. Thanks

  • Marylee Schanen

    I found this too graphic and cruel for my family to watch. When children and adults are bith upset over the death of an animal that could have been prevented we find those monsters to be no better than watching someone kill an innocent dog or domestic animal. We will no longer be supporting PBS until actipns are taken to deny funding for thesr monsters.

  • Megan

    Very well done

  • JT Flood

    When the adult male zebra killed the newborn of mere minutes, I must say that I was disturbed for days. Just not something I want to see. As for some background on the killing, the adult male somehow knew it was not his offspring. He took over a group of mares whose previous alpha had died.

  • Charlotte (age 5 yrs)

    My five year old daughter Charlotte wants to know how the they photographed the lightening?

  • Diane Edwards

    Just wonderful film as are all of them about nature. I just love the animals but their struggle for survival is
    So sad. I hate what man does to animals.

  • NatureShowLover

    it is hard to imagine what these animals have to go thru to survive.

  • Kelly Ricks

    I was also deeply disturbed by the graphic and almost voyeuristic depiction of the stallion killing a newborn foal. The image left me feeling physically ill and would not leave my mind for days. I understand that it’s important to avoid looking at nature through rose colored lenses, but I found this almost too harsh to bear. It is one thing to see a predator/prey killing (actually, I don’t relish those moments either), but quite another to see intraspecies domestic violence against the young and helpless. I would have appreciated a “graphic and violent images” warning before the scene occurred, and I do not feel the scene is appropriate for young viewers. I have been a fan of PBS and Nature in particular all my life, and will continue to watch and (when possible) support the show, but I hope that more care will be taken in the future to alert sensitive viewers of particularly horrific scenes.

  • mikayala livingston

    I was very upset about the killing of the fawn but it was amazing how well the video was produced and enjoyed the constant reminder of the mere cats. also what happened to the parent and the fawn with the disability. I was very disappointed how they just left that hanging

  • norman

    when is it going to be on tv again, I missed it saw the preview but didn’t get when it was going to air

  • Maverick

    Instinct Schminstinct. Anyone who has studied animals, and mammals in particular, has to know that they are in fact sentient conscious beings. They are knowledgable, thoughtful, and deliberative. They clearly have socialized behavior, customs and culture. This was a clear case of infanticide. Rather than dismissing it as “instinct” the producers might instead invite further inquiry into the subject. Are there variations in this behavior among different populations or in different conditions? Is such behavior celebrated or embraced by their groups? Is it tolerated or accepted by other populations? Is it shunned or punished by still others?

  • fultonk

    Hi Norman, You can check upcoming Nature shows on your local public television station here.

  • Laura Maurer

    Wonderful film with a wonderful narrator. Please tell me who narrated this film? Thank you!

  • Judy Mello

    Are you kidding me? Everyone is so upset about a natural occurrence of survival of the fittest? You should more outraged at the explosive human population in Africa that is decimating all of these beautiful mammals. Did you know the Grevy’s Zebra is now rarer than the Black Rhino? Less than 6,000 Mountain Zebra are in the wild. These numbers didn’t decline because of natural behaviors, it’s because of too many humans.

  • Winston

    people have to realize that nature is not always so beautiful as it seem

  • Anonymous

    To Marylee Schanen: I can’t help but disagree with you. Nature is nature; these things happen. What I do with my family is check whether that certain episode is rated G or PG. I tend to use caution when they are rated PG, since it may contain footage of mating, gore, or, in this case, killing.
    PBS is a great channel. And, again, nature is nature. If you were filming zebras in Botswana, would you blindly throw yourself against an angry, male zebra to save the life of a foal? It wouldn’t be wise to do such a thing, as these animals can kill. Any animal has the potential to kill a human if provoked and angry. Zebra may seem like gentle, herbivorous creatures, but they have powerful legs with hard hooves and teeth that can break bones and tear flesh. Also, let nature be nature. It is not right to tamper with what God and Mother Nature see fit. We, as humans, are not omnipotent.
    I continue to support this television show, as it brings beautiful footage and wonderful animals that we city-dwellers may never have the opportunity to see in real life,

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