In celebration of Earth Day, a groundbreaking natural history franchise, “Secrets of the Elephants,” will premiere on Disney+ and National Geographic Wild.
The series travels across the globe to discover the strategic thinking, complex emotions, and sophisticated language of elephants, revealing the extraordinary lives of different families of elephants and highlighting how similar they are to humans.
Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman and featuring renowned National Geographic Explorer and elephant expert Dr. Paula Kahumbu, the four-part series will take families on a journey across the globe, providing insight into the fascinating creatures like never before.
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-at-Large James Cameron executive produces the series, which promises to change everything people thought they knew about elephants forever.
Elephants have long been a source of wonder and mystery with their rich emotional lives and almost supernatural ways of navigating the world. In Secrets of the Elephants, the audience will travel the world to meet different families of elephants ― desert elephants, forest elephants, Asian elephants, and African savannah elephants ― each with their own specific set of cultural behaviors passed between them. The series features several National Geographic explorers, including Dr Paula Kahumbu, Sandy Oduor, Shane Campbell-Staton, and Dominique Gonçalves, who collaborated on the research behind the production to uncover new dimensions of elephants’ remarkable lives.
The latest science and camera technology helps portray how extraordinary elephants are in their own right and how similar they are to humans.
This episode reveals the secrets of Namibia’s last remaining desert elephants. When droughts, sandstorms and even floods threaten them, their shared knowledge passed down from generation to generation keeps them alive. This is the toughest place on earth to be an elephant, and their story is one of triumph in a land of extremes.
Big families and strong relationships are the basis of success for savanna elephants. As we uncover their secrets, we start to understand their remarkable language. It’s not just noise; they communicate like us. Good leadership and close friendships help them through the hard times as they scale cliffs, find their place in the hierarchy and mourn their dead.
As humans encroach ever further into their environment, Asian elephants are learning to adjust to the challenges facing them. They know how to use tools to break down electric fences, strike deals with farmers, and develop a cooperative arrangement on tea plantations where they do the weeding without damaging the crops.
The Congo rainforest is home to one of the world’s most elusive species, the African forest elephant. Everything about them—their bodies, their behaviors, their families—is adapted to life in the rainforest. But surviving here means more than just adapting. These elephants have shaped the forest around them to their needs and, in doing so, have created a habitat unlike any other on Earth.