Binah (binah1013) wrote,

I'm getting to be a wuss in my dotage

Is anyone on my flist watching Planet Earth on The Discovery Channel? I haven't been following it faithfully, but I watched last night's episode about The Plains. Such beautiful photography.

I guess I haven't been watching too many wildlife stories lately. Astronomy shows? Yes. Physics, string theory, subatomic particle shows? Yes. Shows on the "other" gospels? Yes. How Its Made? Laws yes. Extreme Engineering? Yes. Various "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!1!" shows (volcano, tsunami, asteroid, etc.)? Laws yes.

But predator killing prey shows? Clearly not so much, 'cause I started wimping out when the artic fox was killing baby geese. That made me sad, but I could handle it. It wasn't as bad as watching orca take down an adolescent whale, which I saw some months ago. Though that kind of thing used to not even make me blink.

The show ended with a scene that even the cameramen described as an "ordeal". A herd of elephants and a large pride of 30 lions were at a water hole at night. The cameramen used an infrared light that would allow a special camera to see well at night. It was very dry, so water was at a premium. Lions usually stand no chance against elephants, though they did try for a calf or two. The elephants held the lions off.

However, there were some straggler elephants that made it to the water hole in pairs, and one by itself. Thirty lions can take on a tired, full-grown elephant. And they did. Even the little bit they showed, was awful in a gruesome way. I think the cameramen got the whole take down on film, but what we saw was heavily edited. We saw the lions making the initial attacks. All I could think was "OUCH" at seeing a lion hanging by his claws off the elephants rump with his 29 friends closing fast. And then the scene jumped to the lions eating the elephant, which Sigourney Weaver said would feed the entire pride for a week.

I think the reason for the editing was something I observed. Lions don't have jaws large enough to break an elephant's neck. Despite the swarm of lions, it could not have been a quick or remotely easy death. I'm sure we were spared the elephant screaming. I'm glad the scene was cut where it was. If it took half as long and was only half as awful as I imagine, it would still probably drive me from the room. Or get me to change the channel.

No "survivor man" am I. Oy, if the apocalypse comes, hand me a cyanide pill please? Thanks.
Tags: planet earth, wuss

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