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Japanese

[009]Wild Africa Surviving the Dry Land----Namib and Kalahari

Filming site

Part1. Sociable Weaver
It is southern Africa. Bizarre looking trees are dotted about the arid area of Namibia. There are huge balls or lumps of dried grass sitting on their branches. Each is a nest of sociable weavers, and they are one of the largest bird nests in the world. Each nest has more than a hundred chambers, and all together about 300 birds live sociably. It is like a communal apartment. Some part of the nest falls off almost everyday, and the nest is always “under construction”. As the result, some of the nests have been used by generations of birds over 100 years. The reason for creating such huge nest is to protect them from harsh environment of the arid land where outside temperature changes dramatically in just a day. These woven grass work as insulation. Inside chamber is kept comfortable all through the year. The story is told by an author and illustrator, Mamoru Suzuki whose illustrated books on birds nest are highly acclaimed.

Part2. Meerkat
Meerkats live in large family unit in the desert of southern Africa. The recent study revealed that adult meerkats are keen to “educate” young members of the family in hunting. They are the only mammals, except for human, actively give education to their children. During two months of rainy season when preys are abundant, adults thoroughly teach youngsters how to hunt venomous scorpions. Though venomous, these scorpions are main source of nutrition for meerkats. As youngsters grow, their tasks get harder and harder. The programme shows arduous education of how to make a young meerkat a skilled scorpion hunter in a short time.