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Rivers provide the essentials of life: fresh food and water. They often provide natural highways and enable us to live in just about every environment on Earth. But rivers can also flood, freeze or disappear altogether!Cities - Surviving the Urban Jungle Human Planet joins Sam Niang, a Laotian fisherman, as he walks a high wire strung above the raging Mekong River rapids on an extraordinary commute to work. There's also a look at the remarkable partnership between Samburu tribesmen and wild elephants in their search for water in the dried-out river beds of Northern Kenya. Plus, a father who must take his two children on a six-day trek down a frozen river - the most dangerous school run on Earth, and the ice dam busters of Ottowa with their dynamite solution to a city centre hold-up.
Man-Eating Tigers of the Sundarbans
The Sundarbans mangrove forest, in Bangladesh near the Indian border, is a tidal jungle where Ganges and Brahmaputra enter the Indian Ocean. Its has some 400 Bengal tigers - the largest population in the world, and the only to be hardly scared of men. The downside is tigers kill up the 50 Bangladeshis a year, even from neighbouring villages, so keeping them inside the reserve is key to long-term survival.
A recent project tries to train local mongrels, not pets but fiercely self-reliant dogs, to spot and even scare off tigers from villages. An individual tiger can turn into a man-eater in order to survive - this process may occur due to an injury or old age (and so cannot hunt agile prey) or even accidentally tasting human flesh.
The rainforest is home to more species of plants and animals than any other habitat on the planet. But for humans, life there is not as easy as it looks. Life in the trees requires great skill, ingenuity and sheer bravery. The Matis of Brazil carve 4-metre-long blow-pipes to hunt monkeys - in near total silence. Deep in the Congo forests, Tete defies death by scaling a giant tree using nothing more than a liana vine, and he must then negotiate an angry swarm of bees - all to collect honey for his family. Three children from Venezuela's Piaroa tribe venture deep into the jungle to hunt tarantulas - to toast for lunch! In West Papua the Korowai tribe show-off their engineering skills by building a high-rise home 35 metres up in the tree tops. Most memorable of all, in Brazil we join a unique monitoring flight in search an un-contacted tribe...
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