“Animal Kingdom” with Steve Leonard, Episode 1 on ITV, 7th June 2011

Steve Leonard watches over a croc in Namibia

TV vet Steve Leonard visits the Erindi Game Park in Namibia, which lies between the Namib and Kalahari deserts. The owners of the 175,000 acres of land took a gamble to return the area to the wild after decades of cattle farming. The reintroduction of endangered wild species is to be funded by tourism.

In episode one of the documentary series exploring the reserve, Steve Leonard wrestles with crocodiles and gets stared out by a bull elephant. The down-to-earth vet looks genuinely scared by the wild animals and can be judged to be genuinely brave in dealing with them, unlike the sometimes imprudent approach of other notable wildlife presenters.

The night cameras catch an elephant chasing a lion as well as the grazing of the sun-shy hippopotamus. There’s also an unexpected visitor to the camp at headquarters…

“Animal Kingdom” with Steve Leonard, Episode 1 on ITV at 19:30 (BST) on 7th June 2011 for UK audiences only.

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