Sunday, October 3 at 8:00 p.m.
The black mamba is one of Africa’s most dangerous and feared snakes, known for being aggressive when disturbed. Rearing up with its head four feet above the ground, it strikes with deadly precision, delivering venom that is packed with three different kinds of toxins 10 times more deadly than needed to kill an adult human. Without treatment, the mortality rate is 100 percent. Until now, little has been known about the black mamba’s natural behavior in the wild because, in Africa, most people kill a black mamba on sight and feel lucky to have done so.
Sunday, October 10 at 8:00 p.m.
The Wolf that Changed America
In 1893, a bounty hunter named Ernest Thompson Seton went to the untamed canyons of New Mexico on a mission to kill a renegade wolf called Lobo. Lobo was the legendary leader of a band of cattle-killing wolves that had been terrorizing ranchers and their livestock. Known as “King of Currumpaw,” Lobo seemingly had a mythical ability to cheat death. It was up to Seton, a naturalist as well as a professional animal trapper, to exterminate this “super-wolf.” The battle of wits between this wolf and this man would engender a real-life wilderness drama, the outcome of which would leave a lasting effect on the country.
Sunday, October 17 at 8:00 p.m.
Echo: An Elephant to Remember
Echo, the elephant matriarch, was the subject of many films and the leader of a carefully studied herd of elephants in Africa. This past fall, she died of natural causes. This film is a look back at this remarkable animal through extraordinary footage and interviews with the researchers that cared for and studied this amazing herd.
Sunday, October 24 at 8:00 p.m.
A Murder of Crows
Crows do not have the best of reputations. They are generally dismissed as spooky — Hitchcock used them quite successfully to frighten moviegoers — or as a general nuisance; scarecrows were, after all, invented to scare crows away from crops. But their image is about to take a turn. New research has shown that they are among the most intelligent animals in the world, able to use tools as only elephants and chimpanzees do, able to recognize each other’s voices and 250 distinct calls. They are social, mate for life and raise their young for as long as five years. They’re able to recognize individual humans and pick them out of a crowd up to two years later. Crow experts from around the world sing their praises and present the viewer with captivating new footage of crows as they’ve never been seen before.
Sunday, October 31 at 8:00 p.m.
Visit the website at www.pbs.org/wgbh/nature
Invasion of the Giant Pythons
Florida’s Everglades National Park is one of the last great wildlife refuges in the United States, home to numerous unique and endangered mammals, trees, plants, birds and turtles, as well as half a million alligators. However, the Everglades is also the dumping ground for many animal invaders. Add to the mix tens of thousands of giant pythons, snakes that can grow to 20 feet and weigh nearly 300 pounds, some released into the wild by irresponsible pet owners, some escapees from almost 200 wildlife facilities destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The predatory pythons slithered into this protected wilderness and thrived, and the refuge has consequently become less a haven than a killing ground every day since then.