Series 1 Episode 1
First Broadcast: 12AM Mon 7 November 2011

A new high-tech natural history event, Hippo: The Wild Feast presents the most comprehensive illustration to date of nature's food chain in action.

The programme, anchored live from Zambia's Luangwa Valley, shows the events of a fortnight as an entire ecological system including predators, scavengers, birds and insects consume the enormous carcass of an adult hippo.

Located by a section of the Luangwa river, a prime location for some of the biggest predators in Zambia, the hippo has been in the sights of the notoriously vicious honey badger, leopards, lions, Nile crocodiles, hyenas, wild dogs, baboons, monitor lizards and marabou storks: known as the 'undertaker birds' and which use their 10-foot wingspan to swoop down and see off other smaller vultures.

Presenter Mark Evans speaks to animal and entomology experts and local guides about the animals' behaviour and biological decomposition.

With the potential for fierce showdowns between rivals for these vital calories, Evans explains the different eating mechanisms of the animals: from crocodiles, who use each other as leverage for a 'death roll' to twist off the meat, to marabou storks, who gulp down pounds of flesh, which they store in their gullets.

The programme also features footage from the dens of predators, staked out by specialist wildlife cameramen.

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A high-tech illustration of nature's food chain in action as an entire ecological system, including predators, scavengers, birds and insects, consumes the carcass of an adult hippo