Planet Earth II is an immersive exploration of the jungles, mountains, deserts, islands, grasslands and cities of the world. Journey to the four corners of the globe to discover the extreme forces that shape life in each of these iconic landscapes and experience the world from the viewpoint of animals themselves. From spellbinding wildlife spectacle to intimate encounters, Planet Earth II takes you closer than ever before.
For some, remote islands offer sanctuary away from the mainland: the tiny pygmy three-toed sloth only survives because of the peace and safety offered by its Caribbean island home, while seabirds like albatross thrive in predator-free isolation. But island life isn’t always easy. In the barren, volcanic islands of Galapagos, marine iguanas have been forced to find food in the ocean, but their ingenuity allows a raft of other animals to survive – including deadly racer snakes. At the end of the Earth, more than 1.5 million penguins appear to have found their version of paradise on an active, wave-battered volcano.
In this episode we climb high into the world’s great mountain ranges. Only a few pioneering animals have what it takes to survive up here, they are amongst the most elusive and mysterious on the planet. Witness for the first time ever four snow leopards filmed together as a mother and cub become trapped in a desperate fight between two rival males. Like crazy pole dancers, Grizzly bears comically scratch their backs on trees whilst a bobcat struggles to hunt for ducks without getting its feet wet.
Jungles are the richest places on Earth. A magical world of surprise, drama and unforgettable wild characters. From the jungles of Brazil, home to caiman hunting jaguars and strange jungle dolphins that swim in the tree tops, to Costa Rica where ninja frogs fight huge wasps, we watch as the animals face life in the most competitive place on Earth. We follow alongside the beautiful indri as she bounces through the forest in Madagascar and stay out late at night to witness glow-in-the-dark creatures never before filmed! There are even mini ‘dragon lizards’ with a special trick to deal with life in the jungle!
In this episode we visit the world’s deserts, a land of extremes that pushes life to the limit. Animals here have developed ingenious ways of dealing with the hostile conditions – giving rise to the most incredible survival stories on Earth. A pride of desert lions are so hungry they risk hunting a giraffe several times their size, whilst male sand grouse fly nearly 200 kilometres each day from their nests to the nearest waterhole, simply to collect water for their chicks – and when they arrive there are predators waiting for them. And, never filmed before, a tiny bat takes on one of the world’s deadliest scorpions just to get a meal.
Grasslands cover one quarter of all land and support the greatest gatherings of wildlife on Earth. The extraordinary creatures that live here must survive the most hostile seasons on the planet. From bizarre looking Saiga antelope in Asia, rarely seen by humans, to the giant ant-eaters of Brazil, grassland animals show remarkable survival techniques. In the flooded Okavango, lions take on formidable buffalo in epic battles, stunning bee-eaters ride on the back of ostriches like miniature jockeys, while caribou embark on great migrations, where they must cross paths with their nemesis, Arctic wolves.
Cities are growing at a faster rate than any other habitat on Earth. They may seem an unlikely place for animals to thrive, but for the bold this is a world of surprising opportunity. Leopards prowl the streets of Mumbai, peregrine falcons hunt amongst New York’s skyscrapers and a million starlings perform spectacular aerial dances over Rome. We welcome some creatures into our cities; in Jodhpur langurs are revered as religious deities and in Harar locals live in harmony with wild hyenas. Many animals, however, are struggling to cope in the urban jungle. As the architects of this environment will we choose to build cities that create a home for both us and for wildlife?