BBC Lion Battlefield 4


Uploaded by amilkerful on 14.08.2011

Transcript:
The hyenas' success has bred an intense rivalry with lions.
Encounters between the two competitors are common and dangerous.
Near the marsh, the nomad challengers have returned...
and are confident enough to infiltrate pride territory again.
Hyenas are confident too -
but where lions are concerned, it's sometimes misplaced.
What lions don't have in endurance, they make up for in sheer strength.
The nomads have come of age -
and they'll happily cut their teeth on anyone that gets in their way.
This is no time to taunt them.
One wrong move - no second chance.
Lions and hyenas will kill each other at any opportunity.
But there are plenty more where he came from.
Sheer numbers are what makes them such a thorn in every lion's side.
Little goes on around the battlefield that the hyena clan doesn't know about.
They're quick to exploit any weakness.
And here is the prize weakling.
The cheetah is designed for attack, not defence -
and its savannah neighbours know it.
Members of the hyena network are never far away,
and this is what makes them such formidable competitors for the lions.
The exhausted cheetah can try to hide the kill from the vulture task force...
But other eyes are everywhere...
and it's much easier to steal a meal than catch your own.
Time after time, the cheetah's speed and grace is trumped by brute force.
Surrender is the only choice.
But hyenas kill their own prey, too.
ln fact, around the lion battlefield,
they often kill more prey than the lions themselves.
But hunting in the open is a risky business...
Out here, strength is always relative...
A single hyena will always concede to a lion...
...but each disputed kill becomes a numbers game...
Here, two pride lionesses easily overpower five hyenas.
To match the lionesses' strength, hyenas must outnumber them at least three to one.
The odds are crucial - and they can change very fast.
This time five lionesses have killed a male buffalo -
and as usual, passing hyenas are quick to investigate.
lt's a trophy well worth fighting for, and without the brothers on the scene,
the scavengers may be in with a chance.
lt all depends on numbers.
At two to one, the lionesses have the upper hand.
They can keep the hyenas at bay, but they can't keep them quiet.
Their calls of excitement can be heard up to three miles away,
and draw other clan members from all directions.
These reinforcements start to swing the odds the other way...
and the lionesses know it.
But they don't want to lose their hard won prize...
But the hyena ranks are swelling by the second -
and with no sign of their male defenders, it's just a matter of time...
This is the real clash of the carnivores...
and at 4 to 1 , hyenas win by force of numbers.
But one surrendered buffalo is just a hiccup for the pride.
Their larder is about to fill to overflowing.
The pride is sitting on a goldmine.
During the annual migration,
200,000 grazing animals pass right by the lions' door.
The six surviving cubs are now two years old -
and ready to hunt for themselves.
The brothers have done their job well.
But they, too, are getting older...
and the nomads are itching for another fight.
The battlefield has everything the lions need...
and that's because of one more force of nature -
one that every lion, every grazer and every tree relies on.
A force that comes out only after dark...
This mound is a fortress - a termite city,
at its heart the queen,
the controller of an event that underpins the entire Savannah.
Without her, there would be no lions.
Every night, her five million subjects go to work -
on the most important production line in Africa.
From every termite mound, tunnels take workers out into the fields.
Their mission - to collect dry grass.
They harvest more than all the other grazing animals put together.
The grass is dragged back into the storage pits.
Other workers break it down and send it deeper -
to these underground gardens.
lt forms a compost, to grow white fungus -
a fungus that fuels the entire system.
Every termite eats it and the queen transforms it into brand new termites.
More builders, more harvesters, more soldiers.
As they dig tunnels and collect grass, they mix nutrients into the soil.
Around every termite mound is a nutrient rich zone.
These nutrients grow grass...
and grass grows grazers - food for the pride.
But tonight the fortress is under attack...
From the savannah ramraider -
an aardvark.
To survive, it needs 1 0,000 termites every night -
and it's got the tools to get them.
But the aardvark isn't alone...
...other raiders are out tonight...
and they're not after food.
The termite tower is under attack... and soldiers rush to its defence.
The aardvark's sticky tongue scoops up to 30 termites every second.
lf it reaches the queen, the colony is doomed.
But thousands of bites become unbearable -
this raid will soon be over...
Above ground, another raid is just beginning...
The nomads are attacking the brothers... and this time it's all or nothing.
A new dawn - and another new era for the lionesses.
The nomads have taken over the pride...
The new kings will court the lionesses and their two-year-old daughters.
But all the other males have fled.
The old males are mortally wounded.
At eight years their short, violent lives are almost over.
This is the final chapter of the brothers' story.
But close by, a new one begins.
Their sons were lucky to escape the raid alive...
and now they, too, must do their time as nomads...
a journey that make take four years,
until they're ready to try for a pride of their own.
Our lionesses' new defenders may last months or years.
But for now they are the new kings of the lion's battlefield.
lt's time to tell the neighbours they've arrived.