This is the teaser trailer for the wildlife documentary WALKING WITH ELEPHANTS. The documentary was first shown on UKTV Eden channel in the UK and Ireland on April 3rd 2015. It also aired on VRT-Eén (Belgium), France 5, CCTV 9 (China), Amazon Prime, Choice TV (NZ), FTV Prima (Czech TV), AB Sat - Animaux (Fr, Suisse, Belgique) and Evenaar (B).
Steve Bolnick is a zoologist with a passion for walking in the African bush. Most people associate the bush with danger and choose the safety of a car to observe wildlife. Steve strongly believes that because we only evolved relatively recently from the hunter-gatherer, we still have a deep affinity with the bush. Through walking, Steve hopes to bring people back to their ancient roots and to help them better understand nature and animal behaviour.
Steve took wildlife reporter Pat Verbraecken to Hwange national park in the North-West of Zimbabwe. The park covers almost 15.000 square kilometres and is located just south of the mighty Victoria falls on the Zambezi river. Although it’s close to one of Africa’s main rivers the area is extremely arid as it borders the Kalahari desert. Yet Hwange national park has one of Africa’s largest populations of elephants, more than 50.000 of them. Steve has developed a special bond with these fantastic animals. They’re not only the biggest living land mammals, but they’re also extremely intelligent. On top of that they’re very important for the survival of other wildlife and for the ecological balance in general.
The audience easily gets fascinated with these extremely intelligent animals and will be surprised by their human-like social organization and communication skills. Elephants also seem to have an important ecological impact on the bush and are a crucial factor in the survival of other species. Some people believe that there are too many elephants in Hwange at the moment… but Steve has a very different opinion on that matter.
This episode on elephants is the pilot episode for an adventurous wildlife series “BACK TO THE WILD – with Steve Bolnick”. This series is not yet in production.
Steve will bring us back to the wild in the most amazing way. In every episode Steve will meet one specific endangered species in the most intimate way possible… on foot.
Steve gets close with these animals and explains and illustrates their behaviour while giving clues on how to behave and survive in the wild. A healthy taste for adventure is the backbone of the series. Our deep concern for ecology, biodiversity and a healthy relationship between humans and nature are important ‘drivers’ for our stories.
Throughout the series the audience starts to understand that humans are part of ‘wildlife’ and that walking in the bush is not necessarily dangerous as long as you understand and respect nature. At the same time this series introduces us to Africa’s most exciting natural regions.
Steve has a strong, surprising and personal story to tell. He is eager to share his passion - and experience - with the viewers and he has the talent of translating complex biological and zoological facts into fascinating stories that can be understood by a broad audience. He strongly believes that the bush is quite a natural environment to mankind. Through walking Steve wants to reconnect people with nature and hopes to bring them back to their hunter-and-gatherer roots.
‘Back to the Wild’ is a series on the relationship between humans and nature. On the one hand it offers the opportunity to dream away in a wonderful, idyllic and exciting world of fascinating animals and plants. But at the same time it raises concerns on the fragile relationship between man and nature through the personal comments of Steve.
Steve is deeply concerned with preservation issues and even started his own NGO to support the elephants. He has trained rangers in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and has developed an incredible knowledge on the African fauna and flora. Steve used to live and work in Zimbabwe but moved to Capetown about 10 years ago.
Chris Fletcher – Earth Touch UK
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