Parental choice

In the safety of a river, a hippo is being born. This mother feels safer here in the water and better able to make choices for her baby. It’s an underwater birth and her biggest worry for the newborn is other hippos, the father included. She chases them away. Her newborn has strong instincts, to stay near mum and not to drown. As mother and baby move to find shallower water, there's a risk that the youngster might get swept away in the turbulent water. Confusion and panic are evident in both mother and calf. Even if he makes it to the bank, the instinct of both pulls in different directions as here out of the water, not only must the mother remain fearful of other hippos, but also of the danger from lions. She makes her decision, and follows the calf out on to the bank. Helpless babies depend on mothers balancing their instincts, and gauging what to do.


Role Contributor
PresenterDavid Attenborough
ProducerMark Fletcher

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