Birds do it.
Bees do it.
Even educated fleas do it.
Sex in the Wild (PBS Distribution) is a fascinating documentary as it takes viewers from the Okavango Delta in Botswana to the Australian Outback, and from a Borneo rainforest to the waters of New Zealand, to study animal reproduction. Veterinary scientist Mark Evans and anatomist Dr. Joy S. Reidenberg, experts in animal reproduction, reveal the natural mating, birth and rearing behaviors of elephants, kangaroos, dolphins and orangutans, all while capturing rare, beautiful footage of these species in their natural habitats. The series brings viewers details about these species’ mating methods and reproductive anatomies, and illustrates how scientists help preserve certain species for future generations, both in the wild and in a laboratory setting.
“Kangaroos, elephants, dolphins and orangutans each have unique and amazing sexual anatomies and reproductive cycles,” said Dr. Reidenberg, who has also brought Inside Nature's Giants to PBS viewers. “We have the opportunity to focus on the issues and challenges that each of these animal groups faces when it comes to the procreation of their species.”
Episodes depict how animals woo the opposite sex, mate, and raise their young in extreme environments. The series highlights conservation and preservation efforts to protect endangered species, and explores growing attempts to safely control increasing populations of particular species, such as Botswana’s elephants. Descriptions of the four episodes that are part of this series follow.
Reidenberg and Evans follow Kiti, a pregnant female elephant, through the birth of her baby. In addition, Evans travels with a group attempting to control the elephant population while also maintaining genetic diversity, through chemical birth control as Botswana copes with increasing numbers of animals.
Reidenberg and Evans travel to an orangutan sanctuary deep in the rainforest of Borneo to explore the reproduction challenges of one of humans’ closest cousins–the orangutan. The team examines how the alpha male “kings” exert their power over other males and seduce females in their territory. Devoting a lengthy seven years to raising a single orangutan baby is key to the success of the species–similar to humans.
The scientists chronicle the birth of a kangaroo joey and its development. The episode also explores koala conservation efforts in Brisbane that use artificial insemination to boost the number of koala babies, and Reidenberg visits a pioneering breeding program at the University of Adelaide to learn more about preservation efforts to save the extremely endangered southern brush-tailed rock-wallaby in South Australia.
In this episode, Reidenberg travels to New Zealand to uncover the mating strategies and anatomies of dusky dolphins, who form mating groups that leap from the water in perfect unison. In a high-speed chase, males pursue females and rapidly mate with them–in just two seconds. Viewers can witness a dolphin birth and learn the difficulties of breastfeeding underwater.
This program contains detailed scenes of animal reproduction, viewer discretion is advised.
Birds do it.