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Mountains part 4 journey across the Himalayas

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It's the mating season for oriental pheasants, Himalayan monal, tragopan and blood pheasant. Musk deer make the most of a short flash of spring foods. This male smells a potential mate. The red panda, rarely glimpsed in the wild. It was once considered a kind of raccoon, but is now believed to be a small mountain bear. By midsummer its larger, more famous relative, has retreated into a cave. A giant panda nurses a tiny week old baby. Her tender cleaning wards off infection. She won't leave this cave for three weeks, not while her cub is so utterly helpless. Progress is slow for milk produced on a diet of bamboo is wretchedly poor. Four weeks old and the cub are still blind. Its eyes do not fully open until three months after birth, but the chances of the cub reaching adulthood are slim. The struggle of a giant panda mother to raise her cub is a touching symbol of the precariousness of life in the mountains. On the highest summits of our planet nothing can live permanently. The highest peak of all, Mount Everest, five and a half miles above sea level and still rising - the roof of our world. Of those humans who've tried to climb it one in ten have lost their lives. Those that succeed can stand for only a few moments on its summit. The Nepalese call it 'a mountain so high no bird can fly above it.' But each year over 50,000 demoiselle cranes set out on one of the most challenging migrations on Planet Earth. To reach their overwintering grounds in India they must cross the Himalayas. By late morning ferocious winds are roaring past the peaks. The cranes must gain height to avoid the building storm. They've hit serious turbulence. They must turn back or risk death. A new day and a new opportunity. The flock stays in close contact by calling one another. Weak from lack of food and water, they use thermals, rising columns of warm air, to gain height. For many this is their first journey across the Himalayas. For some, it will be their last.





Mountains part 4 pictures


 
 

 
 

 
Planet Earth Mountains
Planet Earth Mountains
  2 filmed in the wild
2 filmed in the wild
  3 shapes the world's climate
3 shapes the world's climate
  4 journey across the Himalayas
4 journey across the Himalayas