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ZDF Studios Unveils New Nature Docs from Doclights


ZDF Studios has revealed four new nature documentaries from its affiliate Doclights, including Bison: An American Icon.

The 52-minute documentary centers on the American bison, which was almost hunted to extinction by white settlers. It follows the life of a young bison calf from birth and witnesses its struggles as it evolves into a strong young bull.

Extreme Namibia, meanwhile, showcases a variety of Africa’s charismatic wildlife that live in the most extreme conditions. Namibia’s varied landscape includes some of the driest deserts on Earth but also lush bushland and coastlines full of penguins and seabirds.

In The Secret Life of Orcas, marine biologist and extreme diver Florian Graner goes on a search for clues as to how and why orcas develop different hunting skills. The species develops skills over generations and forms their own “hunting cultures.” Some orcas live constantly in one place and focus on salmon, while others travel long distances and hunt marine mammals such as seals, porpoises and even gray whales. As the wanderers thrive, life for the settled fishers is problematic.

Lastly, Little Oceans examines the North and the Baltic Sea. They each have a very different ecology than the deep oceans of the world, and both arose just recently at the end of the Ice Age. Despite their size, marine life thrives. The second biggest fish on Earth, the giant shark, the Greenland shark, killer whales, sperm whales, herds of cuttlefish and big squid all live between the shores of Scandinavia, Great Britain, the Baltic states and Germany.

Bison: An American Icon and Extreme Namibia are scheduled for delivery in early January 2023, while The Secret Life of Orcas and Little Oceans will be available in April 2023.

Ralf Rückauer, Vice President Unscripted at ZDF Studios, said: “These four films, covering diverse topics, are in the expert hands of Doclights, who are renowned for producing high quality non-scripted content. Audiences will be captivated as they get taken on a journey to the habitats of some of our planet’s most amazing wildlife.”

About Jamie Stalcup

Jamie Stalcup is the associate editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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