Nature’s Fear Factor

“For animals in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, the normal balance of competition and predation was upended when a war wiped out the top predators. The remaining animals didn’t simply grow in numbers—they began behaving in unusual ways, veering outside their typical territories and feeding patterns. Could it be that it’s not just predators’ kills that keep other populations in check, but also the fear they inspire? NOVA joins a team of scientists as they reintroduce wild dogs to Gorongosa to find out if restoring the park’s “landscape of fear” can restore balance to an entire ecosystem. (Premiered October 14, 2020)


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NOTE: this PBS special, Natures Fear Factor, premieried on October 14, 2020. The video below is the trailer. The episode can be viewed here. ALSO – this post was originally published to this site on October 26, 2020.



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  • Hi Chris,
    Just so you know, the people in charge of this park have an uphill battle. The elephants particularly are not only very fierce and due to poaching female elephants were being born without tusks! The additional trouble is when people are starving they eat the animals. I’m not sure if the situation has changed or not. The major flooding last year was tough. The organization did lots to help people too.

    • Hello Alison,

      Yes Africa is a morass of poverty and corruption. Ivory from one elephant can bring more than a poacher can earn in a lifetime. Those who stand against poachers are often killed.

      My main reason for the post was that it illustrates how predators change animal behavior.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

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