Tag Archives: Wildlife

Nature returns to Wisconsin with “Charlie and the Curious Otters”

A baby river otter is fed from a bottle.Two weeks, two episodes of Nature with Wisconsin ties… we swear this isn’t just an excuse to post adorable images of baby animals, but it sure is a good opportunity to do so!

“Charlie and the Curious Otters” takes us to the Amazon, the UK, a crystal-clear river in Florida and the Wild Instincts wildlife rehabilitation center outside Rhinelander in Wisconsin’s Northwoods.

Read on to learn about this unique – and necessary – facility, and how renowned wildlife photographer Charlie Hamilton James discovered what baby otters need to get back into the wild.

Nature: Charlie and the Curious Otters aired 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25 on WPT. Check out the full episode below.


Continue reading Nature returns to Wisconsin with “Charlie and the Curious Otters”

Exclusive Preview! Wisconsin Winter From The Air – Opening Scene

See the All New Special’s Opening Scene in This Exclusive Preview!
Wisconsin Winter From the Air
Coming to Wisconsin Public Television
7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30

Enjoy the newest sneak peek below from Wisconsin Winter From the Air.

“Snow falls
and winter begins.
Winter in Wisconsin traces a new path…
charts a new trail.

A season of frosted landscapes…
that last but a day,
icy blue vistas atop the waters,
and deep green pines framed in snowy white.

It’s brisk…
it’s bracing…
and it’s a wonder to behold.

A season like no other,
a view of the state like no other –
Wisconsin Winter… From the Air”

This narration featuring the voice of beloved Wisconsin author Michael Perry highlights the vibrant open of the all-new Wisconsin Winter From the Air, coming Nov. 30 to Wisconsin Public Television. Enjoy this special sneak peek from the new show as we begin the final countdown to the broadcast premiere!

Support WPT and Receive Wisconsin Winter From the Air on BluRay and DVD
Give the Gift of Quality Public Television This Season!

Support Wisconsin Public Television and receive a DVD/BluRay copy of Wisconsin Winter From the Air as a Thank You gift. Donate now to receive your Wisconsin Winter From the Air thank-you gifts before Christmas!

Funding for Wisconsin Winter From the Air provided by Ron and Colleen Weyers, Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Morgan’s Shoes, John E. Kuenzl Foundation, Stanley J. Cottrill Fund, Francis A. and Georgia F. Ariens Fund within the Brillion Area Family of Funds, Holiday Vacations, and Friends of Wisconsin Public Television.

Your Pets’ Secret Lives

Nature "Pets: Wild at Heart" premieres 7 p.m. tonight.
Nature “Pets: Wild at Heart” premieres 7 p.m. tonight.

I share my apartment with two pets: a longhaired gray tabby named Donna and a shorthaired orange tabby named Harvey. They’re full of personality, fond of food and usually tolerant of my presence. Donna likes to curl up on my lap when she feels like it, and on the rare occasion that Harvey’s not sleeping, he loves to play with his catnip mouse. Continue reading Your Pets’ Secret Lives

“Kangaroo Dundee” Packs an Adorable Punch

"Kangaroo Dundee" premieres tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.
“Kangaroo Dundee” premieres tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.

It’s hard to not love kangaroos, but now that I’ve been introduced to Chris “Brolga” Barnes, the star of Kangaroo Dundee — premiering tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television — I think it’s safe to say that he’s the kangaroo king. At his self-operated sanctuary in Australia, Brolga is “mum” to almost 30 kangaroos (that’s right — 30!).

Brolga has dedicated his life to raising orphan kangaroos so that they can be released back into the wild, and helping baby kangaroos reach adulthood safely isn’t an easy task. In fact, it involves many of the daily activities that human parents face, including potty training, late-night feeding sessions and even a few lessons in manners.

Tune in to Kangaroo Dundee to join Brolga as he meets the most recent additions to his kangaroo family — orphan joeys Rex and Ruby — and follow the babies’ journey to independence. You’ll also get a glimpse into Brolga’s unique life as a kangaroo caretaker and meet the many marsupials that enrich his world.

From Ella, a female kangaroo who teaches Brolga the tricks of raising joeys, to Roger — a ferocious adult male who takes trespassers on his turf extremely seriously, you’ll learn that the kangaroos’ personalities are as strong as their legs.

‘Tiger — Spy in the Jungle’ Concludes Tonight

“Tiger — Spy in the Jungle” airs tonight, Wednesday, July 30 at 8 p.m. on WPT.

If you’ve been watching Tiger — Spy in the Jungle, you’ve enjoyed the most intimate glimpse at the lives of tigers ever filmed, from birth to playful adolescence and beyond. If you haven’t been watching, here’s your chance.

When you think of a stealthy spy, an elephant is probably the last living creature that comes to mind. Large, lumbering and slow, their prowess is doubtful. Yet, when it comes to documenting the lives tigers in the jungle, elephants are the perfect infiltrators.

The creators of Tiger — Spy in the Jungle, recognizing elephants’ remarkable intelligence and sensitivity, trained the giants to carry cameras on their tusks and trunks to collect footage, providing a glimpse into a striped world that would otherwise remain a mystery.

The trained elephant detectives used their Tuskcams and Trunkcams to shadow a group of tigers wherever they went, collecting film that shows the different stages of the tigers’ lives. Tiger — Spy in the Jungle also shows how the tigers interact with the other jungle animals, and how those interactions mature as the tigers age.

Episode 3 airs tonight, Wednesday, July 30 at 8 p.m. on WPT. This finale follows the tigers, now young adults, as they begin to assert their independence. As they learn to be kings of the jungle, many of the other animals shown in earlier episodes have to attempt to not become their prey.

If you’re ready to see tigers as you’ve never seen them before, and a wildlife world as rich as that of Africa — complete with sloth bears, leopards and more — Tiger— Spy in the Jungle delivers.

Attenborough's Life Stories

Watch Nature “Attenborough’s Life Stories” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 on Wisconsin Public Television.

David AttenboroughA lifetime spent outdoors with nature, what more could you ask for? I would love to be able to spend the majority of my time outside; unfortunately, that usually isn’t an option. The societal norm has become sitting in an office building 40+ hours a week and spending copious amounts of free time indoors where the climate can be controlled. Whatever happened to the good ‘ol days of sledding until you couldn’t feel your hands and feet and spending summer running through sprinklers?

I can only imagine what a great journey it would be to travel the world developing a greater understanding of the plants and animals we share earth with. Nowadays, just going camping feels like an adventure if you happen to see a bird or insect you don’t recognize. I guess there’s just something about the feeling of being somewhere no one else has ever been and a sense of discovery that can’t be replaced by any artificial means. However, I suppose we can enjoy the next best thing – living vicariously through the lucky few who do get to travel the globe and bring home astonishing HD footage.

Chasing the Phantom

Watch Nature “Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30 on Wisconsin Public Television.

I think one of the most interesting things you could ever get on camera is a person’s reaction to seeing something amazing for the first time. Can you imagine the look on someone’s face when they happen to be strolling through the woods and see a cute little thirty-pound wolverine take down a 6-foot moose? Talk about a sight to see, especially if you don’t know what the animal is and if it may or may not come for you next.

I suppose the only thing worse in a situation where you’re out in the wild with a dangerous predator, is not seeing the attacker at all. At least if you see it, you know what you’re up against and what to look out for. There’s just something unsettling about not knowing, and it tends to be quite hard to shake that feeling. I remember being out in Colorado at a nature preserve… one minute I was looking at a loon sitting on the edge of the water, turned my back for a minute, suddenly a loud splash. Of course by the time I turned around, the loon was gone and all I could see were the reeds at the shoreline falling back into place. Can’t say that I felt safe walking near tall grass anytime soon.

Dive Into the World of Ducks

Watch Nature “An Original Duckumentary” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Ducks! An animal so awesome and capable, we made army vehicles based on them. Granted the Wisconsin Army Ducks could only tackle land and water, I like to imagine that by now they would also be able to fly if they were kept in production. Sure would make a trip to the Wisconsin Dells a lot more interesting if you could take a tour through the woods, down the river and soaring over the water parks.

It’s actually kind of surprising that more people don’t keep ducks as pets. Sure they can’t be potty trained and would make a mess everywhere, but there are plenty of other unconventional pets that are the same way and they seem to work out just fine. I even know of a family in northern Wisconsin that used to have a pet lion, and that certainly isn’t a pet you are going to share your living room with come winter.

If money and laws weren’t an issue, what would be your perfect pet?

How lonely was Lonesome George?

Watch Lonesome George and the Battle for the Galapagos tonight at 7 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Lonesome George was one of the world’s most well-known tortoises. Living for many years as the last remaining Pinta Island giant tortoise in the rare and exotic wildlife of the Galapagos, George was also described as the world’s loneliest tortoise. You can follow the story of Lonesome George’s life and his death this past June — leaving his species instinct — in the fascinating BBC documentary airing tonight on WPT. (Watch a clip below.)

The program outlines the challenges faced by the world’s delicate ecosystems and the people working each day to ensure that other animals don’t end up at the end of their species line.

But, we wanted to take the opportunity to let everyone know that they don’t need to cry over George’s loneliness. In fact, while there might not have been any other tortoises around to keep him company — he had plenty of visitors. When this program was announced in a WPT schedule meeting awhile back, our Audience Services manager, Sarah, exclaimed, “I’ve met Lonesome George!” Sure enough, take a closer look at the picture above and you’ll see a bit of smile on the faces of Sarah and a not-so-lonely tortoise during a visit in 2004.

Clip from Lonesome George & the Battle for Galapagos from Jonathan Clay on Vimeo.

Predator or Prey?

Watch Nature “Moment of Impact” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 6 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Don’t blink, you might miss some of the action!

It’s amazing to think of how many things can happen in just a fraction of a second. However, I suppose if you want to get technical, millions of things happen every second just so we can live and move. Between chemical reactions, electrical signals and muscle fibers, a billion amazing things are happening inside of me right now as I type… and typing is boring.

Just imagine everything that must happen when a tiger races across the savannah to take down an elk or when two buffalo go head to head over a mate.