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Hostile Planet (2019–…): Season 1, Episode 1 - Mountains - full transcript

The highest mountains on Earth are home to snow leopards, golden eagles, mountain goats, barnacle goslings and gelada monkeys. But only the toughest can endure the extreme weather, scarce ...


Bear: A snow leopard.

He hasn't eaten in days.

This may be his last chance.

I'm two miles
above sea level here,

And it is brutal.

Cold, desolate, hard to breathe.

But, for some, this is home.

Mountains are one of the
most hostile environments.

On our planet.

Now, with the rise in
global temperatures,

Life is even tougher.

The relentless search for food.

Intense competition.

Unpredictable weather.

Mountain animals are pushed
to the edge of existence.

The arctic circle.

Nowhere is the
planet warming faster.

Spring has arrived here early.

And that's bad news
for the barnacle geese.

That breed in these mountains.

Many nests have failed...

But not this one.

Three chicks.

They're lucky to have made it.

Forced by the early spring,

The parents rush
to their migration.

They arrived exhausted.

The female sat on
the eggs for 25 days.

She's lost 30% of
her body weight.

But for this family,

The greatest challenge
is still to come.

The parents chose to nest
on this 400 foot pinnacle.

It's the only way
to evade predators.

Just one problem...

The grass they
eat is a mile away,

By the river.

And barnacle geese can't
feed their young in the nest.

If the chicks don't
feed within 36 hours,

They'll starve.

And these chicks won't be
able to fly for another month.

The parents are living
proof there is a solution.

Just not an easy one.

Dad leads the way.

But the chicks are
instinctively bonded to mum.

Where she goes they follow.

Incredibly, it survived.

But it's stunned.

And now dangerously exposed.

One chick gone.

Now hope rests
with the other two.

The back of the
spire is a shorter drop.

But it's much harder
to avoid the rocks.

For this chick,
there will be no escape.

The third and last
surviving chick.

♪ ♪

The snow cushions the
impact, but offers no grip.

Only around 50% of chicks
hatched on these cliffs.

Make it through the first month.

With the seasons
increasingly unpredictable,

Fewer chicks will survive.

But this chick, at
least, has defied the odds.

A changing climate is
affecting life in mountains.

Across the world.

Late winter.

The average temperature here is
rising a degree every decade.

Bad news for a snow leopard.

Thick fur enables him to
withstand temperatures.

Of -20 fahrenheit.

But today, it's 66.

To find enough food, he
must patrol a territory.

Of 80 square miles.

Dry barren slopes
don't support much prey.

It can be more than a
week between meals.

He must make a kill,

Or starve.

Bear: 16,000 feet
up in the himalayas,

A desperately
hungry snow leopard.

His best opportunity in
days is within sight.

Blue sheep.

In this heat, he can't run far.

He needs to close the gap.

His camouflage helps.

But with so little cover,
it's hard to get close enough.

He ran too early.

And it's too hot to give chase.

Like all who live here,

His fortunes are linked
to the mountain climate.

And even small changes can
have dramatic consequences.

Here in africa,
rising temperatures.

Are forcing mountain
life ever higher.

An army of gelada
monkeys is gathering.

They're all after one thing.

But to find it, they must
climb higher and higher.

Their numbers
grow to 1200 strong.

One of the largest gatherings
of monkeys on the planet.

At 10,000 feet, this
is what they're after.

Grass.

It's almost all they eat.

But so many monkeys in such
a small area means trouble.

Especially for this old male.

He needs a lot of
energy to defend his family.

Ten females and 12 youngsters.

But you don't get
much from grass.

He has to spend ten
hours a day feeding.

And today he's gonna need
all the energy he can get.

Bachelor males.

Outcasts.

Forced to the edge of society.

Any one of them would be happy
to take down the old male and.

Become the new family leader.

To hold onto power, the old
male must prove his strength,

Both to the bachelors
and his females.

He challenges them to chase him.

But no one dares to attack.

His show of force has worked.

For now.

The old male has
little time to refuel.

Before the herd moves on.

The bachelors are back.

At this high altitude,

Each confrontation
takes more energy.

A relentless cycle of moving,
feeding and fighting.

Moving, feeding, fighting.

By late afternoon, the
old male is exhausted.

The strongest bachelor,
45 pounds of muscle,

With energy to burn.

He's the most
serious challenger yet,

And the old male knows it.

Bear: Two male gelada
monkeys fight for supremacy.

A dominant male and
a younger bachelor.

One against one the
bachelor is stronger.

The old male won't
last much longer.

At least not alone.

His females are loyal.

They won't give up on
their protector yet.

This united force
is overwhelming.

The old male is victorious.

But it's tough at the top.

As the climate warms and the grass
they depend on retreats higher,

Their battle for survival
will only intensify.

In the heat of mid-summer,
mountain goats seek out.

Cooler temperatures
on the high ridges.

This female is a
natural mountaineer.

She can easily
access the best grazing,

Even with a kid in tow.

But there's one thing
they both need that's.

Far harder to reach.

Today, they must leave
the ridge and descend.

Into the heat of the valley.

For the little one, this
is a dangerous journey.

With the mercury hitting
100 degrees fahrenheit,

This is the hottest
summer on record.

After a winter of heavy snow,

This means more
meltwater than ever.

Mum's made this journey before,

But some rivers are at their
highest level in 100 years.

♪ ♪

Their goal is in sight.

Just one more river to cross.

But it's the
deepest and widest yet.

The current is too
strong for little legs.

And this is what they've
risked their lives for.

A salt lick.

These goats crave sodium,
an essential mineral lacking.

In their mountain diet.

Summer in the
mountains is short.

Harder times are coming.

Temperatures plummet.

Days shorten.

Winter is here.

But the hunt for
food must continue.

Heavy snow on higher ridges
has forced these ibex.

Down into the valley.

A cold winter can
be a blessing for.

A hungry snow leopard.

He's less likely to overheat.

But against the white,
he's visible for miles.

He must rely on stealth.

Not easy in such deep snow.

♪ ♪

The distance was too great.

The ibex too fast.

Now all the animals in
the valley know he's here.

And he's burnt precious energy.

These are desperate times.

If he's to see winter through,

He may have to
take bigger risks.

Throughout the mountains
of the northern hemisphere,

Winter's grip is tightening.

Animals must make the most of
any last opportunity before.

Conditions drive
them to take shelter.

Far above, planetary forces
are on a collision course.

A river of air, the jet stream,

Flows around the north pole.

At its center, sits a
mass of cold arctic air.

But now a warming upper atmosphere
is slowing the jet stream.

And the cold air can escape.

By the time it hits the rockies,

It's grown into a mega storm.

Freezing everything in its path.

Bear: In the depths of winter,
extreme storms rage across

Canada and the usa.

Freezing temperatures,

Wind speeds of up to
150 miles per hour.

Now, even the toughest animals
are at their limit of survival.

The storms may have passed,
but there is hidden danger.

In this landscape.

Winter storms have buried
this area of british columbia.

Under nearly 40 feet of snow.

But if temperatures
rise above freezing,

It can have lethal consequences.

On the high ridges, wind
driven snow has created.

Huge overhangs,
some 25 feet thick.

The longer the temperatures
stay above freezing,

The more the snow pack weakens.

Soon, tens of thousands of
tons of snow are traveling.

Up to 80 miles an hour.

As weather patterns change,
avalanches across the world.

Are growing bigger.

The more erratic and severe
mountain winters become,

The more victims they'll claim.

But some are still succeeding
in this harsh world.

Golden eagles live in almost
every mountain range in the.

Northern hemisphere.

They endure the alpine winter
by using the brutal conditions.

To their advantage.

Like all golden eagles, this
female has a special sensory.

Organ that detects
change in air pressure,

Allowing her to locate air
currents rising off ridges.

With her seven foot wingspan,
she can climb to over 11,000 feet.

Then, to get to the next peak,
she folds her wings and dives.

With a top speed of
150 miles per hour,

She's one of the fastest
animals on the planet.

It looks effortless,
and it needs to be.

A golden eagle may cover
100 miles a day scouring.

The slopes for any opportunity.

A flock of ravens
is a good sign.

During winter, golden eagles
are forced to scavenge

90% of their food.

If finding food is hard,
keeping it is even harder.

A carcass like this
attracts a lot of attention.

This male is powerful.

And eagles don't share.

Another brutal storm.

This could be the last
chance to feed for days.

Starvation is a serious threat.

Only a quarter of young eagles
will survive to reach maturity.

Will it be him or her?

Attacking from the air
gives her the advantage.

But her victory is short lived.

Now both eagles may be
fighting for their lives.

Bear: In the peaks of norway,
two golden eagles are fighting.

For a chance to feed.

Both are desperate.

The female stands her ground.

But the male is not done.

Each eagle is armed
with two inch talons.

These fights can be deadly.

Her kick was decisive.

What's left of the frozen
flesh may be just enough.

To keep her alive.

But this harsh winter will drive
others to even greater extremes.

This snow leopard's relentless
search for food continues.

Following the scent
of prey has drawn him.

To the edge of his territory,

And into a steep ravine.

Blue sheep.

The broken rock
provides good cover.

But this is difficult terrain.

Now, he must let
them come to him.

♪ ♪

A 200 foot fall,
never letting go.

Finally, the snow
leopard can eat his fill.

But success has
come at huge cost.

He's badly injured.

For a hunter that
lives by its agility,

This could be fatal.

The challenges of survival up
here at altitude is so extreme.

That it seems near impossible
that anything can make it.

But the resilience of mountain
animals is near miraculous.

Incredibly, just
three days later,

We filmed the same snow
leopard back on its feet.

Hunting again.

It takes true grit to
survive in these desolate,

Unforgiving landscapes.

But, somehow animals
still manage to triumph,

To find shelter,
food and, perhaps,

Most importantly, each other.

Against all odds, snow
leopards are still breeding.

Here in the himalayas.

They are living proof of
mountain animals amazing.

Ability to succeed
in a changing world.

Their offspring will be
the hope for the future.

Captioned by cotter
captioning services.