Thursday, 8 September 2011

Animal baby cuteness overload - It's Nature's Miracle Babies!

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Episode 2, Sunday 11th September, 6:30pm, BBC One

All over the world, species are on the brink of extinction. Springwatch presenter and wildlife TV producer Martin Hughes-Games, brings us a heart-warming series exploring their plight and meeting the babies born against the odds. For some species captive breeding is their only hope.

Episode 1 saw Martin begin his journey in China with the pin-up of the natural world, the giant panda. Without the extraordinary advances in reproductive science, it's possible that these bamboo chewing balls of fluff would be extinct. He also followed the story of the pied tamarin - a tiny and tenacious monkey teetering on the edge, and a chunky baby one-horned Asian rhino who's adult horns are still tempting prizes for poachers. The episode was a 60 minute cute-fest but more importantly it gave a real insight into the work of extraordinary people around the world who's dedication these babies depend on.

WARNING - This video may cause men to vomit and women to go mushy.
Prepare for cuteness overload it's a bably animal montage.

 Baby panda at the Chendu research base, China (Photo: BBC)

In episode two Martin meets arguably one of the most beautiful and rarest cats in the world - the amur leopard. There's estimated to be less than thirty five surviving in the wild - a result of poaching and deforestation in their native eastern Russia. Martin visits the last place they can be found and discovers how zoos around the world are attempting to breed them in the hope that they can one day be safely released into the wild. Other cute miracles of human intervention featured in the episode are baby elephants in an orphanage in Kenya, and an incredibly rare barbary lion, extinct in the wild, whose first breath could also have been her last.

 Martin Hughes-Games meets captive bred amur leopard cub (photo: BBC)

Baby barbary lion (Photo: BBC)


  1. Fantastic pictures. Good job.

    A.C. San Diego

  2. Thanks Martin - for at last showing the positive side of Zoos, the way in which they network and the role they play in in-situ conservation projects.

    Your presentation style is brilliant and obviously reflects a very informed background. I was Curator & Education Officer at a small zoo for a very long time. Visitors were surprisingly unaware of all the networking that went on, and 99% were fascinated when staff made the time for one to one chats. Unfortunately it was the Keepers they wanted to speak to - and had they spent as much time as I did chatting, animal welfare might have suffered - but a few minutes here and there were so appreciated.

    Can't wait for tonight's episode and have been busy recruiting audiences!

    I rarely buy DVD's but this'll be a must!

    Thanks again

  3. Just watched part of episode 4/4 of Nature's Miracle Babies.
    Even though listening to Martin Hughes-Games, grated me, I persevered.
    But when he said that foxes were introduced to Australia by British settlers, I almost blew a gasket.
    This is just another example of the English covering up their stuff-ups, by substituting "British" for "English".

    When I lived in Oz, it was generally accepted that foxes were introduced by the English gentry, so that they could continue their blood sports downunder!
    Tally Ho, chaps!

  4. Just watched the episode 4/4 and was very upset about the fact that the common wallabies babies are killed to make way for the brush tailed rock wallaby. David the man in charge of the breeding programme said euthanised, which isn't really appropriate when it's actually a healthy baby. If they are already being re introduced to the wild why is this necessary? Even if they are still endangered, this doesn't seem right.

  5. I agree with the comment left on the 30th September. To abort a perfectly healthy baby wallaby simply to increase the gene pool of the ‘endangered’ sub species of wallaby is unspeakably cruel to both the infant deprived off life and the mother.

    It would not be acceptable under any circumstances for a human child to be murdered simply for convenience so why is it acceptable for it to be carried out on an animal.

    Some of the worst crimes in the human history have brought about by people trying to play god when they had no right to do so!

    1. The bigger picture is to save a species from extinction. Your points are valid, but if you look at this particular issue, I doubt anyone would consider it to be up there with "the worst crimes in human history".

    2. Wonderful series, and a fantastic starting point for budding conservationists. Its too bad there are just 4 episodes. I hope that as they find more projects around the world, they will continue to film and publicise this great work. Nobody does this stuff better than the BBC.