The Loneliest Animals
Video: Full Episode

The loneliest animals are the most endangered species on the planet. Collected and protected by dedicated scientists, these animals represent the end of the line for their species. In many cases, intensive captive breeding programs have been launched with the aim of sustaining these animals and the hope of returning them to the wild. Viewers will be taken into high-security, high-tech labs where scientists attempt to breed new generations, and into the field to discover what forces have led to the demise of entire species. Featured animals include Yangtze turtles under 24-hour surveillance; a baby Sumatran rhino; a special collection of lemurs; the Spix’s macaw, a bird declared extinct in the wild in 2000; and “Lonesome George,” a giant tortoise from the Galapagos, who is the last of his kind. Buy the DVD. This film premiered Sunday, April 19, 2009.

  • Writer

    This is a great show. I just wish that people would understand that life is transient and death is inevitable. This was extremely informative, and quite moving. From watching this you gain a greater appreciation of nature, and the life which lies within it.

    Great show, anticipating the DVD(should there be one)

  • Kathryn Ricci

    How can I order a DVD of The Loneliest Animals. Please advise. Thank you.

  • NATURE Online

    To order a copy of this and other NATURE programs on DVD, please click the “shop” link at the top of the site.

  • Doxie News » Nature: The Loneliest Animals

    [...] for the very non-dachshund post, just wanted to mention that this episode of Nature is now available for viewing online because I really like this [...]

  • Rob Hill

    Enjoyed the show but seems they should have highlighted the Jersey/Durrell Wildlife trust instead of the Arab outfit. Durrell started working with endangered species in the 1950s and his zoo is exclusively for endangered species. (Life may be transient but extinction is forever.)

  • Cheryl Krasowski

    How long will episode be available online?

  • Natasha Pastor

    I found this program very moving and it provided me with a new ambition to make people in my area of the United States aware of the unquie creatures we share the planet with. People don’t give me much credit as a ninteen year old that cares for nature but I am going on ahead and trying to lay the foundation of a better future for these animals. I hope to use this new gained knowledge and to do my part to help preserve the fragile wildlife because everytime I hear that a species is lost I want to cry. Everytime one survives I see a new light for the future.

  • Jeremy

    Eye opening documentary that is both hopeful and sobering. It’s great to see these species have a fighting chance through these breeding programs, but will they have a home to go to in the future the way that humans have been pillaging the planet? Polluted rivers, deforestation, expanding land use and devastated eco-systems….I don’t see anywhere for these animals to live other than captivity. As long as the human population keeps growing and consuming, there will be no sure future for these animals. That’s just the cold harsh reality of it all.

  • ernest mills

    this program reveals just how much we need to radically transfrom our deepest values, beginning with a new religious consciousness based not on just human life but all of life…a new consciousness for a new planet.

  • Henry Purcell

    I found this program both moving and frightening! It would be great to be able to follow these and other endangered animals. I, for one, would really like to know what happens to them and if scientists are able to bring their species back. We want to know more!!
    I also think the story was told in a very respectable moving way, minimal effects and great music underscore. FOUR Stars!

  • joyce craveiro

    Wonderful program – simply put: great video, interviews and music kept the focus on what really matters. Makes me wish I’d studied biology so I could be part of something really BIG. Keep ‘em coming!

  • Christy Tennant

    WOW. This is such an important message. Thank you for this program – when will the next episode air? The footage was moving, the narration was haunting and the music was perfect – I’ve shared this link with several people whom I know will be as moved as I was.

  • amir

    very informative

  • Dawn Olson

    Paul and Astrid–how awesome to see you both on the same show. Thank you for your amazing dedication to saving endangered species. I’m honored to know you.

  • Arlene Burns

    A well produced show about critically important issue. Musical score enhanced the photography. Hope there will be more in the future.

  • Jane Elizabeth

    This is a GREAT show and the music is TERRIFIC!!! THANK YOU for ENTERTAINING and EDUCATING.

  • J’bri and Emani

    I feel sad for the turle and the rhino._J’bri
    why the heck would you want them to mate if she all ready got eggs, i would just let her have da eggs and make the male tourtule the step-father

  • jose

    Very informative and well narrated. Thanks for the full episodes.

  • Catherine H.

    I m watching it again on line tonite. The narration alone gets you right ogg–and keeps you. I wish there was something I could do to help. Money is not an option. I have always preferred to spend my time with animals; currently a rescue ferret. Any way, this show has made me thjink so much and so deeply> perhaps a captive breeding or nature conservation program closeby that I could volunteer at? Massachusetts Thank you, PBS. I have always enjoyed Nature. This is above and beyond. Narrarion, photography, interviews–How far back can videos be purchased to? The sales go to PBS, correct? This show is a blessing.

  • L.Campbell

    I found the program touching. We as humans have the ultimate power of taking and giving life. We need animals and wildlife in general to survive. So I hope that oneday government around the world would create a partnership to restore conservation. It’s everyone’s responsibilty.

  • Jon Roatch

    Sad, but very interesting. Thank you PBS. People need to realize what we’re getting ourselves into with deforestation.

  • sara pardue

    Our 4th grade class in Louisiana has just viewed this video, and we are excited that many of these animals are making a comeback!

  • Soo

    The heart ached while watching this video. I want to help the environment…does anyone have any tips? what do you guys do to try to help

  • megi

    I!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IT!!!!!!!!!!

  • Miguel Angel

    I can´t see the video, all the others videos are great, but this is impossible to see!!!!!

  • mpr

    I really enjoyed this. I’ve been working on an endangered spceies paper. My sister came home on friday and said “Did you know today that today is endangered species day? We watched this really cool video in science class today!” I was like awsome! I hope I am able to use some of this information for my paper.

  • jtraniah

    i love this video is just i think they need just a little more details just a little not very much though they also needs more facts and opinions

  • Robert

    LOL i used this for an assighnment at school

  • Catherine

    Glad this episode is running again soon-can’t wait to see it again. Being able to view it on-line is nice- on television is better-get the full effects. Thanks for running it again. I’ve been telling everyone I talk to about this particular episode-made a lasting impression.

  • Catherine

    I just watched it again. I thinjk it effects me more each time. My little ferret climbed up on my bed while I was watching–it breaks my heart to think we all live in countries that allow and obviously encourage the destruction of all the precious creatures on this show, and their homes. How many more can we afford to lose? NONE. All these captive breeding programs give me hope. After all the death and destruction humans have caused, it is encouraging to see these dedicated scientists helping these precious creatures survive and thrive. And isn’t it the least we can do, after all these species we’ve managed to push into extinction? That footage of Lonely George hurts me–imagine how tough he has to be-every day–just to stay alive? I’d love to see/hear an update on his “2008 matinh with related species”. What I don’t understand-when humans try to rid the earth of a particul;ar race of people, it’s called genocide. Why is it allowed to happen to so many of these wondrous creatures????How can a society not care? What does that say about us? Shame on us-all of us–for letting it happen. This prrrrrogram brings so many issues to light–but in the end–it does give us hope. And sometimes, that’s all we have.

  • Sarai

    Captioning or subtitles on the web videos would be nice!! Thanks!!

  • ashley

    I love it is a nice video althrough it was frightening at some times but it was great

  • dylon

    i love it!!!

  • kelly

    wow, so cool. I really enjoy watching it. Its so nice. HeHe

  • stephen

    Woah…I gotta know what’s happened with those turtles!

  • stephen

    oh yeah, and Catherine, “prrrrrogram” is spelled with one “r”

  • Chloe mcmanus

    i asked for a vidio of alligaters and it was all about turtles and it was sad a it gave me a load of posters about turtles

  • angel

    i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but i wish there are still time to help them away from extinction.

  • abby

    OMG that was so awesome

  • Yvonne Dull

    I thoroughly enjoyed the videos tonight. I had no idea I could see such wonderful shows. Thank you PBS. Hope I am able to see more like them on Nature.

  • Jack

    hate poachers. vedio ROCKS!!:)

  • Deinna

    It makes me so sad that the female Rafetus laid her eggs but none survived….other than that I loved it!

  • carol

    this is really interesting and sad. I wish I could help. GREAT JOB!!!

  • jason

    im in love with this movie

  • Catherine

    I just found a recent article and photo by Dr. Gerald Kuchling of the TSA – the yangtze giant soft shell turtles have not yet reproduced- the team will try again in April 2010. The female is now known as “China Doll”. I saw an update last year on Titus, the Golden crown Shifaka lemur- he passed away from cancer. The info on the yangtze turtles can be found on reptile and the TSA website. I will post info on the other species showcased as I find it. Some people don’t always have time to do the follow up on their favorite shows; however, I do have the time and I enjoy wildlife research. I jsut wish more of the news was good – the show was very informative but so heartbreaking on too many levels. “Lonesliest Animals” is by far one of my favorite episodes of Nature. Good news for the Sumatran Rhino- a confirmed pregnancy at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary – birth epected May 2011- Andalas and a female named Ratu (no word on the young beauty named Rosa!) . Rhino Conservationists are celebrating – it is wonderful news for this species. While watching, I like to check on some of the other species showcased, too. While not mentioned in the original program, a frog thought extinct for 30 years has been discovered in New South Wales – the Yellow Spotted Bell Frog. Where there is life, there is hope. So much of the program was grim – any bit of good news is hope for an endangered species.

  • alexis

    I love it it was so moveing I want to help the wold and I hope that the yangtze giant sofl shll turtles come back if you like the show you should see the cove it is about dolphin killing

  • Connor

    Today is a hard day for me i have been watching nature all day and now i feel like i have lost love for humanity. I find the people that dedicate their lives to saving wildlife so noble and I hope to join their fight myself soon enough . I was so happy the turtles did pair up but what i thought what was missing was the fact that man let that species get down to two animals left TWO, JUST TWO !! i mean thats when people relize an animal is in need when there are only two left!! what does that say about humans that we are too busy worrying about getting the newest ipod when there is a species that has had its last hoorah and no longer inhabits our great planet. I wonder if there is a god and how it stands for the crimes of man and if it is all part of its great plan for the earth. i would like to think that 2012 will bring a change in human concious as the metaphysics believe that we will wake up from our blind and destructive path of greed and care free destruction of the planet that was given to us so freely. One day the earth will bring its wrath down upon mankind and its mind of metal and show us the true force that mother nature has to give, and maybe we will have to share the same struggle as the raffidus turtle. Man was blessed with all the forces of the universes , Light , heat , love and we throw it all away like a greedy child, MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON MAN FOR HIS SINS AGAINST THE EARTH

  • Danny

    wow is ther a sequal to this? this was really incredible to watch and learn about these animals i took a huge interest in lonely george and the lemurs :(

  • Bev

    I have been searching to see if George’s second clutch of 2009 eggs were fertile (the first clutch were infertile, as found out in Dec 2009), but I haven found the info yet. Anyone know?

  • Jose Martins

    Dr. Gerald Kuchling (at the chinese facilities where the Rafetus are) will keep us informed thru the blog:


  • Jose Martins

    we got another 63 eggs on June 15th!!!

  • joshua stickell

    we should plan ahead for this we should get the spirm from animal that are going extinct and if the last of the creatures turn out to be a girl we would lose less animals over the years and keep our enviroment well balanced and if we kept our enviroment(our earth cleaned)healthy and stop tearing down habitats and care more for the animals we wouldn’t lose so many animals every year and most likely gain more endangered animals. The real problam is human beings theyr’e way too many of us and we need to drop a couple 100.000s of those. all i am trying to say is try to stop killing animals and help prevent it.
    by joshua jacob stickell
    age 11
    date 11. 22 . 10 nov 22.10 november 22. 2010
    5th grade

  • Royston

    I feel sad for George being so lonely…..

  • joshua stickell

    i do to royston but im happy for the other two(giant soft shell turtles).

  • A

    Thanks a lot for your full episode programs! I am 11 and I enjoy them a lot. Will you be putting on more full episode programs soon? Please let me know. Thanks!

  • Cazzi Enormi

    I came across this article coing from bing. Although it didn’t meet my critera I dug it is safe to say this was an grabbing post.

  • mark

    this is so moving but so much of these deaths are because of humans the turtle named george is alone because of humans the rhinos species are dead because poaches and deforestation which is humans this makes us sound horrible but what we do is

  • joseph


  • juegos online

    good episode

  • Louis

    As if maybe buy the tape. It is very interesting, the turtle is the only of its kind is very impressive. I think with the call center engineering genetics can be saved and even recover species. Abogados gratis



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  • Terri Thrush

    Not a single scientist could help out George. It really is sad to be the only one left of your sub species. We can all learn from this. God speed George!

  • Danusia Workiewycz

    NATURE, one of my favorite programs. All is inter-related in nature and I am grateful that there are individuals who care beyond the $. God bless you in your work!

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