Sri Lanka, the tropical island lying off the southern coast of India – beautiful, geographically stunning, and home to an intense array of wildlife. Not for nothing is it known as the Asian Isle of Man.
The country is also home to its own special elephants, a sub-species of the Asian elephant, with unique characteristics.
In this programme, award winning wildlife cameraman Martyn Colbeck, who previously gave us Echo Of The Elephants, recording 18 months in the life of an elephant family in Kenya, travels to Sri Lanka to try to get to know them. Whether he rang ahead – a trunk call (the old ones are the best) – to smooth his arrival is unclear.
Martyn has planned his arrival to coincide with the start of the monsoon season, hoping it will be the best time to find and follow a new-born calf.
By drawing on local knowledge, he begins to unravel the complex social world of Sri Lanka's elephants, witnessing a fight over a calf, a battle between two bulls, and, at an elephant sanctuary, befriending an orphaned elephant who lost a leg to a snare and is facing an uncertain future.
Indeed, the elephants as a whole face many threats. An expanding human population brings with it a demand for land, while the ivory trade, poaching, deforestation, drought, and starvation also account for numerous elephant deaths.
Natural World, though, shows there is hope on the horizon as conservationists strive to support the remaining population.