Guardians of the Wild Film Series

Reader Contribution by Smithsonian Earth
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Smithsonian Earth has released a new film series, Guardians of the Wild, that follows the continuous efforts of researchers in Zambia to save countless wildlife species. The series is four episodes, and shows the hardships that African wildlife goes through to survive, sometimes with the help of kindhearted humans.

The first episode – which is available free on the Smithsonian Earth website – follows orphaned elephants, and shows the physical and emotional damage that orphaned elephants suffer after poachers shoot their mothers for their ivory tusks.

This series highlights the hard work and dedication it takes researchers working at elephant orphanages to raise young elephants for their release back into the wild. The human researchers at these orphanages must help the elephants learn how to survive in the wild, by teaching them how to eat, drink, and interact with other animals in the wild.

While the first half of the four episode series follows elephants, the second half follows safari predators, such as lions and cheetahs. Since The Zambian Carnivore Program believes that the health of an ecosystem can be assessed based off the well-being of the top carnivores, the second half of the series follows two researchers studying lion prides and hyena clans in Luangwa Valley. The researchers also work to undo the damage that has been done by human beings in the populations of these predators and their environment.

Both perspectives of the series show the constant struggle conservationists go through to protect the species of the African savanna. It also shows how these animals are still continuously in danger from poachers, and how more and more people are stepping up to defend them.

Smithsonian Earth™ is a subscription streaming video service specializing in original nature and wildlife programming shot in stunning 4K resolution that’s available through Apple®, Roku®, Amazon, Android™ and on the Smithsonian Earth website.

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