Kalahari Tail, A
1 x 60'
The Kalahari Desert is a vast area of land that stretches from South Africa’s Orange River northwards, for more than 2,5 million square kilometres – an area ten times the size of Great Britain.
The name Kalahari conjures up images of bleak, parched landscapes with animals struggling for survival – of days of unrelenting heat and nights of bitter cold. And yet it is also a land of the most exquisite beauty and delicate life forms, both animal and plant, all of which have had to adapt in order to survive the rugged weather patterns and harsh conditions.
The stories of many of these creatures, large and small, are well known and documented, but there is one about whom less is known than most. It is one of the smaller animals, but also one of the most appealing in terms of it’s appearance, intelligence, amusing habits and eating styles.
It is the Cape Ground Squirrel. Small – cheeky – endearing, low down on the food-chain, and incredibly tough, the Ground Squirrels have had to adapt more than most in order to survive in the Kalahari.
In this documentary we follow the fortunes of a small sisterhood of Squirrels, led by Scarlet, a shrewd, tough little lady who is very adept at surviving in the harsh Kalahari conditions and has gained the respect of the others in the group.
The others are Lucinda, a feisty, determined little creature; Rosy, always first in line for a feed and Molly, one of Scarlet’s daughters who has an insatiable curiosity that often lands her in trouble.
They live in a network of burrows deep in the heart of the Kalahari and every day is a fight for survival. The constant threat from snakes, birds of prey, not to mention larger predators, means that ground Squirrels need to be constantly alert. Letting their guard down for a moment could have deadly consequences.
Then there is the heat and the drought. Survival is all about adaptability and we see the almost miraculous ways in which these tiny creatures have figured out how to live in this remote part of the world.
It is an uplifting story with moments of bleak hardship and struggle, balanced against other times of sheer joy and delight as these characterful little creatures go about their daily routines.
Beautifully filmed and simply told, it is a story that will endear it to young and old alike.