South America – a continent of contrast, from the lush, tropical canopies of the Amazon Rainforest, to the harsh, arid slopes of the Andes. We travel to some of the most unspoilt habitats left on Earth to experience the trials and tribulations for three very different species growing up, mating and surviving Wild Latin America.

In crystal clear waters off the Pacific coast of Colombia, a new-born humpback whale breaks the surface as he draws his first breath. He is already 16 feet long, a giant, but the challenges ahead of him are monumental. It’s winter. Before the season turns he must nurse constantly on his mother’s fat-rich milk to bulk-up, and he must learn the life skills he needs before undertaking one of the longest migrations on the planet: a journey five thousand miles south to the freezing waters of Antarctica where food is plentiful. The first few months of any animal’s life are fraught with danger, even for an ocean behemoth. The calf must contend with boisterous adult males whipped into a mating frenzy as they pursue his mother. They breach and wrestle, creating a real danger of the calf being caught in the middle and crushed. To escape the threat, his mother moves him offshore for some peace and quiet, but the deeper seas bring new dangers; here there’s the ever present threat of attack from killer whales, the top predators of the sea. The stressful encounters take their toll, burning the calf’s precious calories. Weak and exhausted, the calf even falls victim to one of the ocean’s smallest creatures, whale lice, that encrust his head and threaten to end his short life. Only building his strength and learning to swim fast and breach will save him, which will only happen with his mother’s guidance and calorie-rich milk. Through this critical time, his mother never once leaves his side, nurturing her calf through sickness, supporting his body, and protecting him when under attack. She has only four months to prepare him for the epic journey. If she can build his strength enough to make it, she will set him up for life.

Episodes Wild Latin America
Humpback, Birth of a Giant
Realm of the Spectacled Bear
Squirrel Monkey Island