|A Mammoth Undertaking|
|Episode no. :||2|
|Broadcast :||29 July 2006|
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Prehistoric Park is starting to come to life. All the new saurian inhabitants are doing well, and Nigel stops by T. rex Hill at feeding time. Terrence and Matilda the two Tyrannosaurus are eating well and growing extremely fast. Nigel then heads to the park's resident herd of elephants. He explains that he is looking to rescue an extinct type of elephant: the mammoths. To achieve this he will travel to the ice age of Siberia about 10,000 years ago, when mammoths were almost extinct.
Heading through the portal in thick snow and ice attire, Nigel starts traveling across the tundra by snowmobile. Trees and mountains are all he sees: as the climate is getting warmer, boreal forests are replacing the tundra grass, depriving the mammoths of their food sources. This, as well as overhunting by ice age humans, has driven them to the brink of extinction.After going through miles and miles of what seems like an endless forest, Nigel finally comes across a rocky cave in the middle of the trees and decides to explore it. But when a low, menacing growl is heard, he slowly backs out of the cave, and a large cave bear follows him, apparently disturbed from its winter hibernation. Nigel starts to run with the bear in pursuit, which rears up on its hind legs and knocks over the camera in anger. When the bear disappears, the cameraman finds Nigel up in a tree. He apologizes to his cameraman and admits that he thought cave bears were already extinct by this time. He decides to observe the bear for a minute before "letting sleeping bears lie" and turning his attention back to finding a mammoth.
After riding a short distance in the snowmobile, Nigel clambers up a rocky slope in order to get a better view of the area. It is mostly trees as far as the eye can see, but he finally spots a more open area at the foot of the mountains that might yield some traces of mammoth. Soon, Nigel finds some interesting artifacts like a flute carved from a mammoth tusk by primitive man and, more importantly, a trail of elephantine footprints in the snow and finally, a pile of fresh mammoth dung. The dung is still warm, so his target cannot be far away. He hears noises from large animals, and so decides to head in that direction.
Nigel arrives at an open plain crossed by a small stream, where he spots his first mammoths. However, one is dead, having fallen prey to a snow trap set by Cro-Magnon hunters. The remaining mammoth is lingering by her dead companion, possibly because they are sisters. Nigel approaches, but the standing female collapses to the ground, having also been injured. Distraught, he attempts to calm her down, and soon deduces that the human hunters will be back at some point to finish off remaining animal. Nigel radios his team to seek aid.
Back at the park in the 21st century, Bob is contemplating how to take better care of the resident herd of Ornithomimus. When they first arrived, he put them into a paddock designed for ostriches, since they looked extremely similar, but they haven't been too happy since. Then, he noticed that their mouths are more like a duck's, being rough and ridged like sandpaper. Based upon this, he decides to put the herd into a new paddock with a large pond, where they are able to filter-feed in the water. Once the herd is released, they flock about chaotically before settling down while Bob watches in awe.
In Pleistocene Siberia, Nigel's team arrive, and they agree that the mammoth must be brought back in order to be treated accordingly. She is shot with an antibiotic dart so her strength should be at least partially retained by the next morning. The team sets up camp on the site. In the night, Nigel spots some cave hyenas hiding in the distance by seeing their yellow eyeshine in the darkness. But later, a wolf pack attacks the campsite for the mammoth. Nigel is able to fend them off before they can hurt the fallen mammoth. He lights some torches around the mammoth to discourage any further predatory approaches. The Cro-Magnon hunters then return to reclaim their prize, but turn and move away upon seeing the fire, or perhaps it's just the fact that Nigel's there. Either way, it is a long and uneasy night.In the morning, Nigel checks up on the wounded mammoth. The antibiotics come into effect, and the mammoth is finally able to stand up again. She starts walking back towards her dead sister, but Nigel manages to lead her through the time portal and back into the present day. Upon their arrival, Nigel radios for the medical help of the vet staff. Suzanne arrives and performs some quick surgery on the mammoth in the holding pens. She extracts a stone spearhead from the mammoth's shoulder, which was apparently how it was injured. The wound will not be stitched up, so that the mammoth will just end up with a small scar, and Suzanne expects the mammoth to make a full recovery. The team names her Martha. At feeding time, Martha wasn't feeding on the hay she was given. The team called Suzanne over to check her out. Suzanne found it odd since her vital signs were normal and her wound was healing and wasn't infected.
Nigel then goes back to the Pleistocene 150,000 years ago to take some plant samples back to Prehistoric Park and get Martha eating. There, he sees a large herd of Woolly mammoths traveling. However, the herd is spooked by a bull mammoth in musth. As the mammoths get away from the male, they begin feeding on the vegetation. However, a baby mammoth gets stuck in a muddy puddle. As the rest of the herd approaches the sinking youngster, the matriarch hoists the baby out of the mud with her trunk and tusks. Subsequently, the herd begins feeding again. Suddenly, a large male Elasmotherium is seen investigating Nigel's snowmobile. Nigel sees it and keeps still and quiet. At first, because of its poor eyesight, the Elasmotherium doesn't notice Nigel. However, the Elasmotherium picks up Nigel's scent and walks closer. Nigel backs off but is stopped by the bull mammoth in musth. The Elasmotherium then picks up the bull mammoth's scent, and backs off. Nigel manages to escape.
Later, Nigel goes to retrieve his food bag, and noticed the Elasmotherium was near it. This is his chance to rescue the Elasmotherium from extinction. He uses himself as bait and attempts to lure the Elasmotherium to charge at him. He then runs through the portal, with the Elasmotherium behind him. Nigel tells the staff at entrance to close the gates to trap the Elasmotherium which attempts to break out with its horn. It is then kept in the creature enclosure until its new enclosure is created. Nigel then offers his plant samples to Martha, who still refuses to eat. Nigel then decides that Martha is probably lonely. The mammoth groups he saw in the Pleistocene were highly social. Nigel holds an important meeting with Bob and Suzanne about the following course of action. It is decided to introduce Martha to the nearby herd of African elephants.
The next day, Nigel's crew get the matriarch African elephant to go to Martha's enclosure. The crew predicts that the whole herd will accept Martha if the matriarch does. There is a serious risk, though, as elephant matriarchs have been known to kill strange elephants coming into established herds. Fortunately, after an interaction, Martha is accepted into the herd. At the end of the episode, Martha is seen finally feeding with the elephants.
- Nigel Marven as Himself
- Rod Arthur as Head Keeper Bob
- Suzanne McNabb as Herself
- David Jason as Narrator
- As Nigel stated, the Cave Bear should be extinct by the time the first part of the episode was shot.
- The last known mammoth population died out on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean around 1700 BCE.