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Animal Babies: First Year on Earth

3-Parts Airing Wednesdays at 11:00 p.m. August 18-September 1. 

Animal Babies: First Year on Earth


Meet six baby animals from across the globe.

 Explore the Wonderful and Complex Worlds of Six Animal Babies as They Survive Their First Year in the Wild. 

This series follows four wildlife cinematographers as they capture the first year of life for six animals across four continents, navigating the challenges they face and how they overcome them. 

From the largest animal baby on land – the African elephant – to the smallest marine mammal – the southern sea otter – viewers will follow these creatures as they explore the complexities of their respective habitats. Cinematographers Sue Gibson, Vianet Djenguet, Colin Stafford-Johnson and Bob Poole  cast a new light on these mammals and how human actions and interference impact how they survive. 

“We’re pleased that our partnership with BBC Studios has once again pulled audiences into the most remote and beautiful places of the world and allows them to experience such special moments in animal life,” said Bill Gardner, Vice President, Programming & Development at PBS.

In their first year, these infants experience the joys and hardships of life. They confront near daily adversities from rivals, the elements and predators, which makes their first year their most dangerous. 


EPISODE 1: “First Steps”(Wednesday, August 18 at 11 p.m.)

The first three months of life mean that these infants must quickly understand their surroundings. Newborn elephant Safina must keep a quick pace to keep up with her fast-moving herd in Kenya. Jazir, an infant toque macaque, learns tough love within the primate society as it intertwines with humankind in Sri Lanka. Limpet the southern sea otter encounters the difficulty of a deep dive. Fela the Arctic fox understands the true meaning of sibling rivalry when the large litter has limited food in Iceland. Bisque and Chowder, spotted hyena sisters, prove their worth in the clan in Kenya. Nyakabara the mountain gorilla must find her way through the ancient Ugandan forest. The most basic tools for survival must be learned in their first three months to thrive and ultimately survive.   

EPISODE 2: “Testing Limits” (Wednesday, August 25 at 11 p.m.)
After their first three months of life, these young creatures face new challenges once they can get around on their own. Searching for food becomes the main concern, and the impact of their environment begins to take its toll. In California, Limpet the sea otter learns what is safe to eat. In Sri Lanka, Jazir the macaque learns to toughen up when his mother stops coddling him. In Kenya, Safina the elephant tries to connect and bond with her new family members. These growing babies face trials and tribulations constantly, as they have new challenges to conquer each day.       

EPISODE 3: “New Frontiers” (Wednesday, September 1 at 11 p.m.)

The babies near the end of their first year on Earth, which often brings the toughest challenges. In Uganda, Nyakabara the mountain gorilla roams freely in the forest and must navigate its complexities. In Iceland, Fela the Arctic fox faces rejection from his mother and becomes entirely independent in the search for food. Back in Kenya, spotted hyena twins Bisque and Chowder come to understand the danger of entering the lion’s den. It’s time for these young ones to branch off from the comfort of their mothers and learn to explore the great unknown on their own. 

ANIMAL BABIES: FIRST YEAR ON EARTH is a BBC Studios production for PBS and BBC. The series is executive produced by Jo Shinner, with Dominic Weston serving as series producer.