Living Wild

Living Wild (w/t)

Category: News Release

A new kind of natural history show.

‘Living Wild’ is the authentic experience of living alongside wildlife – as we’ve never heard or seen it before. Set in one of Kenya's most breath-taking conservancies Ol Pejeta, this new eight-part series takes you on an intimate journey into the heart of the lives of an incredible cast of wild animal characters. 

Meet Cedric the young, sexually immature ostrich who, given the worryingly dwindling population, is under a huge amount of pressure to start mating with the older more experienced Koki.  Will his extravagant wing flapping ever manage to catch her eye sufficiently to produce the clutch of eggs the conservancy so desperately needs?  We follow lioness Sior as she struggles to cope with the loss of two of her cubs in the aftermath of a buffalo stampede.  We witness teenage mummy's boy rhino Vumbi as he is forced to undergo a rite of passage separation from his mum Mkora.  Can he finally embrace manhood and brave the wild alone or will he rush back to the comfort and protection of his mother's side?

For the first time, their stories as well as those of many other species are told through the eyes of the 600 strong team who live side by side as we witness what it takes for them to keep the wild alive....

Living Wild is packed with humour and wit, not only are we telling a vital story about conservation, we’re telling it through the words and experience of the predominantly Kenyan people who live and work here – whose voices are not always heard.

 

With unprecedented access to both this extraordinary landscape and the animal characters that live there, we reveal the epic scale, the huge emotional investment and the genuine physical danger that staff here risk as they work to protect some of the world’s rarest and most beautiful creatures.   Each episode will explore animal stories of birth, life and death – told through funny, moving and powerful testimony of the rangers and staff who know the animals best. Whether they’re up looking on as male lions fight to the death, performing emergency surgery on an injured elephant, or driving out in armoured jeeps to protect their charges from poachers, the staff here have a closeness to these wild animals which is unparalleled to anywhere on earth.

Ol Pejeta is one of the most important wildlife conservancies in the world, a vast open wilderness that protects any animal within its 90,000 acres. Home to lions, elephants, cheetahs, rhino and chimps, we get to know the humans and animals’ daily frustrations, irritations and how deep the bond of their friendship goes.

Many of the species here are at the brink of extinction, perhaps the most precious pair that live here are the last two northern white rhinos on earth, named Fatu and Najin who have a very close bond with ranger James.  He is acutely aware that the duo “are the hope of the northern white rhino” survival.  To be that close to animals who may disappear forever is sobering fact, and the human inhabitants of Ol Pejeta would gladly lay down their own lives on the line to protect the animals they live alongside.

Living Wild reveals another side to the natural world: while the world’s human population grows exponentially, the pressure to keep a safe space free for animals to survive, and thrive, grows ever greater. The staff here are on the front line of animal conservation, as ranger Abraham says, “It’s all about the eco-system, every animal that exists has a purpose”.

Through laughter and tears we bring you intimate access to this most extraordinary place on earth. And the deep emotional bond that is shared between the animals and staff of Ol Pejeta, who all have one shared goal – fighting to keep the wild alive.

Executive producer, Edmund Coulthard said: “Everyone loves tv programmes about animals in the wild – we’re excited to be creating a new kind of natural history show on what animals really get up to!”

Channel 4, commissioning editor Alisa Pomeroy said: “We’re excited about this very Channel 4 take on natural history. It’ll allow us to explore the lives of wild animals and their keepers with heart and humour, while also being an original way to look at the serious challenges of conserving these animals and their habitat.”

Credits:

Exec producers:  Sarah Spencer, Edmund Coulthard

Series producer:  Pip Banyard

Series director:  Jim Incledon

Series editor:  Alex Raw