What Arab Emirs once, with pride, called Wadi al Kabir, the Great River, is today known as the Guadalquivir. It flows for six hundred and fifty kilometres before merging into the Atlantic Ocean in the salt marshes of Doñana, the greatest European paradise of wildlife.
From the high snowed mountain tops of Cazorla to the sands of the National Park of Doñana, these places have set the scene for many great stories – and this is yet another.
The main character of this film is the fox – it can be carnivorous, vegetarian or a scavenger. It lives alone or with others, has the stealth of a cat and the slyness of a wolf. Furthermore, it has no respect for the rules of the field, a real survivor as well as the triumph of the natural economy. It meets all the requirements to be the main character of our trip along the great river.
Our fox is the sole survivor of a troop which had all been killed by a poisoned carcass. After witnessing its companions die, instinct told the fox it must leave, that its territory was not safe anymore.
Travelling with our fox, following the riverbanks heading south to a safer surrounding, we discover many more animals along the way: a golden eagle, king of the mountain, which considers foxes as part of its regular diet; the spider crab, camouflaged inside a flower, relentlessly hunting insects; rats, frogs and even the genet, having been introduced from Northern Africa to Europe, are lining the way.
The river is rich with dragonflies and poses many mysteries: sturgeons, prehistoric giants, used to live in it – and suddenly disappeared. A similar fate could await the Spanish toothcarp, which is already under high risk of becoming extinct.
The Doñana salt marshes are alive with birds. Flamingos gather in vast numbers, and amid them black terns feed their chicks, while glossy ibises, purple swamphens, black-winged stilts and spoonbills also fill this magical space. Close to the salt marsh, hiding in the surrounding vegetation, is the most endangered feline in the world – and the fox’s worst enemy: the Iberian lynx.
Together with the fox we will embark on a journey from the snow-covered summits of Cazorla to the seashore, where the Guadalquivir flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
This is the story of a river in southern Europe that brings together a wider variety of animals than any other from forests high in the mountains to Flatlands and wetlands that seem set in Africa on its banks geography seems to make no sense because species from very.
Different worlds gather there Guided by the water that keeps them alive the inhabitants of the Great River of Andalusia coexist with life and death in a in it never ends barely 500 years ago.
No one knew that the Earth was round until a group of exhausted Sailors arrived at this spot in Spain after completing history's first trip around the world for the old Arab wise men it the Great River but that wasn't always the case.
Our story began Among The Mists of the catholah and Segura mountain range rate 700 kilometers up River in the Peaks where the river is born the herds of muflon and red deer are restless because when The Mists lift she flies overhead.
A golden eagle inspects the forest thank you but something else is happening down there everyone knows the characteristic sound of autumn it's a well-known Secret the red deer are in the Rut.
Hmm the ground is a violent place it's time to decide who is in charge it's not easy to be a stag Only the strongest can reproduce while the rest have to wait another year if they survive.
The winner has staked his claim the ground finally looks clear nonetheless it's not a safe place for climbing rodents he's running for a reason eating nuts has made him really thirsty he has excellent eyesight he stands upright to check that he's not in any danger because on this side of.
The river a drink of water can be very costly the fallow deer close but somewhat smaller cousins of the Red Deer are beginning their courtship fights in the Deer family a male's large horns mean that he will have strong healthy Offspring because they will grow on the extra food of each individual.
Thank you but these mountains in Andalusia are above all the place where our protagonist starts her journey foreign s break Waters and the guadalgia river is born wrapped in pine trees its crib is made of bare rock its waters.
Run swiftly here white with foam as the days grow shorter and there is less sunlight draw the energy from their leaves which then die their green tint Fades and they fall to the ground painting it the color of winter.
this means trouble above all for red foxes like this young female she's hungry but she also has a great memory and that's why she remembers the exact spot where she buried a fallow deer leg a few weeks ago but while she's digging up her treasure.
Being observed by an enormous male a quick bite because there's not enough for two here the intruder glares at her and he's stronger than she is it isn't worth getting hurt over a mere thigh and she decides that Prudence is the better part of valor but her belly is still growling and when that happens foxes are capable of.
Anything Spanish Ibex are in the while the adults are distracted maybe she could make off with one of these tender Lambs that's not a good idea a hungry stomach gives bad advice Winter Falls on the mountains literally then the forest is swathed in white.
the river feeds off the snow but for the little fox it's the worst of scenarios that leg of deer that was stolen from her was her last hope keeping a constant body temperature is a luxury that she can't afford much longer but this is Spain and the Mediterranean.
Sun gives the prisoners of the forest to reprieve although the weather's still cold the snow doesn't last long nevertheless for some it's already too late the snowstorm claimed a red deer Hind and as it melts the white mantle is pulled back to reveal the gift of its.
Body sending messages out on the Wind foreign in spite of his anxiousness he first cautiously and intelligently checks out all the smells he knows that this could be a trap throughout the forest the pine trees channeled the scent of meat and candids can detect it from kilometers away.
Two females are close by the larger one decides to get the male to let her eat some with him and she adopts gestures of submission to convince him foxes communicate amongst themselves with facial expressions the other it's her has survived the snow but she's still getting the short end of.
The stick three are a crowd she has to choose between a growling stomach and her growling companions sheer hunger gives her the courage to try foreign this is something the female should.
Solve between the two of them but the forest has eyes the golden eagle can and the land viciously quiet down there others know why the man is able to see that the eagle and the foxes are making too much noise.
The queen keeps looking she can't hear them she needs movement to detect what's going on she reads between the Pines she knows something is happening the young female younger than the others has had enough and decides to give up the male comes back those who are eating.
Get back to business all she has gotten for her trouble is new wounds but the queen decides one's Destiny in the forest when she spreads her wings someone is going to pay.
under the cover of the Treetops it's hard to see her approaching but at the last moment a slight Buzz gives her away Birds of Prey learn from their mistakes humans don't the noble Predator confronts her prey face to face nonetheless some consider Fox as an.
Enemy a competitor that has to be exterminated and they administer death by the dose dressing meat with lethal spices they are poachers who believe that foxes steal the game they hunt the young female sees the whole thing the foxes that we're eating have driven her off.
But this time Destiny is going to play in her favor the others return to keep eating without realizing that the deer has been laced with stricken a forbidden poison that will sow death throughout the forest in a short period of time the Trapper's message will first make them very thirsty and shortly after that their.
Lights will go out forever this morning the guadalgivir eliminates the evidence of a crime foxes have been famous for their astuteness since ancient times they know how to link up Acts and their consequences they remember it all learn in the end the river they crossed wasn't.
This one they crossed over to the other side of life but she will never forget that she doesn't owe anything to anyone but she's on the brink of ruin she wanders in a pack that has three members hunger fear and herself that's why she decides to leave following the only trail that breaks.
Through the mountains in a place without a horizon like this one the only way out is to follow the water only the guadalgivir can get her out of there on its banks at least she'll have plenty to drink along the way the Journey of two survivors begins an Olive Grove is an orderly Forest.
Trumpets from the north fill the land ahead with sound they're cranes they arrive in huge flocks from Scandinavia Crossing Europe until they.
Reach one of Spain's most characteristic landscapes or open Oak pasture lands and this is why they come here hallmokes and cork Oaks drop their acorns precisely when snow is forming on the horizon of the rest of the continent and very little is left to eat.
Hordes of thousands of cranes fly south over the Pyrenees every year to feed on these very nights the guadalgivir matures as it crosses the daises of the Sierra Morena the place where for as long as people can remember fugitives and outlaws have sought Refuge.
following the course of the river the fox enters a disturbing territory where a strange smell fuels her fear large spaces are populated by herds of deer it's the Serengeti of Europe the greatest explosion of life on the Mediterranean.
but this place is also the hunting grounds of the fox's worst enemy the Iberian Lakes the invisible cat it has chosen this rabbit which attempt the impossible to listen to Absolute silence barely touches the ground it is made of.
The landscape foreign the Iberian lynx is slowly backing away from the brink of Extinction thanks to breeding stations and to its hilly habitat being repopulated with rabbits after they were decimated by a serious epidemic in the last century.
The ancient Iberian peoples called it lubican the yellow-eyed killer the guardian of the places forbidden to men in exchange for just one rabbit a day the master keeps the countryside free of foxes our Wanderer will spend another bad night chewing on uncertainty perhaps tomorrow she'll have better luck.
Dawn brings no Comfort to our Traveler can smell members of her family with whom she has been feuding for thousands of years this isn't the piece that she was looking for when she left cathode.
Filled with loyalty for their masters are hot on her Trail but luckily for her a prey that's much more attractive to them convinces them to switch targets not even the king of the daisa is safe when the canine mobs are combing the Hills today it is the wild Boar's turn and his.
Race will soon be over going a good place for her near the river the gunshots have tipped off the Griffin vultures they know what that means somewhere down there men are going to leave them a gift foreign.
They control the paths in the air the hungry pilgrims arrive to pay their respects to the deceased and to clear them away in a matter of minutes foreign when their brother Scouts the scene and gives his consent the buff colored agents fall from the heavens the skydivers of death.
First they are shadowy then voracious the Griffin vultures communion recycles the body and blood of the deer but there will be no Miracle a single red deer isn't enough to feed so many vultures and the frenzy escalates as the meat becomes scarcer then someone has to lay down the law.
a grand appearance a black cloak of almost three meters they know he's coming they've all been warned from up above He blesses the table and he drops in performing the dance of the one who gives the orders thank you.
The Eurasian black vulture doesn't share its meals with just anyone it's the largest bird of prey in Europe 10 kilograms of Fury that doesn't like to eat entrails as the Griffin cultures do it prefers clean red meat without hair nor bones it's the Gourmet of corpses can afford to be.
That's why it drives off all the other birds with the authority of its size it has arrived Late To The Feast they haven't left him much and he is in a rage as far as he's concerned this banquet is over once past the Sierra Morena the guadalgivir grows calmer as it wins its.
Way through the countryside near the city of Cordoba but for the Exile forced to travel by day running is all she has the great banks are all the reference points she needs foreign.
They are great survivors and adapt to anything as long as the wind blows there will be foxes on Earth we are in the land of the tarteshans the turta the herdsmen who raised red bulls they wore helmets with horns like those attributed to the Vikings and offered their bronze swords and shields to the.
Water the same water in which these black storks are resting during their migration from Africa they're more abundant white cousins also arrive by the thousands they have just crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and need the Embrace of the guadalgivir to regain.
Their strength but not all of them will be able to complete their annual Odyssey one of them has a broken leg it is unable to who has been by her side for years stays with her waiting for her to get better but that isn't going to happen.
she tries claims her for itself the mud traps her and she has no strength left thank you the flock departs and the farewell is by the glance.
In some town in one store will not return to the church Tower this year and perhaps someone will miss her or perhaps not this isn't going to be just another night for our Traveler soon she will have another reason to fight.
Tomorrow she won't be quite so alone a brief encounter with a male will change her life forever for this Garden dorm house however going out at night is a very risky thing to do poisonous snake is waiting for its dinner to arrive a snub-nosed Viper meeting up with the Viper would also be.
Lethal for the fox she Treads carefully because the night is full of traps this trapdoor spider likes to dine at home but she is very particular about who is wandering around out there when she detects her victims she makes them an invitation that they can't.
Refuse foreign belongs to the small spotted Janet evolutionarily they look like a cross between a dog and a cat except that they are much older than either they are the only members of their family in Europe but they find themselves in a somewhat.
Uncomfortable position because thanks to their size they are both predators and prey these are looking in the holes in a cliff along the river that are about to be occupied these male meat eaters have just flown in from Africa and immediately take up residence in the holes that have been.
Abandoned for months the competition for a whole is fierce because if they don't have one the females will reject them the colony is situated on top of an ancient Roman Workshop that made ampharas but what the birds are anxious about.
Right now is cleaning up their holes before the ladies arrive after all that work they have the odd custom of taking a sun bath to eliminate the parasites on their backs up close the courtship of little ringed clovers is more violent.
Two males have been Smitten by the same female and one of them has to go the Great River of the ancient Arabs was once the home of a giant that weighed more than 100 kilograms it's been years since anybody has seen one may still be down there.
A prehistoric fish the sturgeon the eggs that female sturgeon Bayer are one of the world's most highly prized Delicacies there was a caviar Factory on this River but it shut down in 1967. it drew its business from the bellies of the Colossal fish that swam up river to.
Spawn it's unlikely they'll ever come back on the Riverbanks the little ringed Plover has driven off the other Suitor and the winner performs his mating dance for the female who sits in judgment if she doesn't like how he dances she.
Can always choose the other fellow meanwhile the little fox has been getting by on snails and worms for weeks but her body is demanding that she hunts something bigger she needs hemoglobin iron and high quality proteins after the dance the male decides to try another trick he forms a parasol with his body to.
Protect his lady from the Sun and it works the black storks broke up the flock that arrived from Africa weeks ago and the mating pairs have spread out into their own secret corners of the river for a good reason oh four enormous pterodactyls that are.
Always hungry and thirsty black storks prefer the trees shy Birds they don't like to have humans nearby like their white cousins but down river there's another Nest that's not so peaceful big brother who hatched from his egg.
Three days before his sibling is trying to kill his baby brother so that their parents will only feed him when they come back with prey the booted eagle has to bring back to the nest all the food he can in order to save his younger child only this rabbit can calm his older child's fratricidal rage.
But he doesn't manage to calm him down the younger one won't be able to hold on much longer if his mother comes back empty-handed as she looks on helplessly at just two weeks of age one of her children is going to kill the other she tries to distract him with bits of meat from an earlier prey but it doesn't.
Work the mother can't get a moment's of respite for her little one when he dies Cain will eat him foreign in the meantime flowers have bloomed around the traveler along the river this is the season of easy eating because natural selection needs Jaws.
Like hers to execute the least fit there they are no more worms and frogs her belly demands fresh red blood common rabbits are native to the Iberian Peninsula and from here they were introduced all over the world but she needs only one like that one.
Distracted by its world of light and color eating flowers as if nothing was happening there are a lot of them but they're not very smart sooner or later one of them will make a mistake it's last mistake her first hot meal in weeks.
Then the sleeping Sprites in the ground become orchids waking up Shining foreign foreign creatures Between Two Worlds want to be princes at least not yet Mediterranean tree frogs were born to.
Sing and inside in the soundless Kingdom you have to have guts to survive or else in the world they're called sarinites they are a Wonder of evolutionary adaptation because they can live both in.
Fresh water and in water that is three times saltier than sea water but their world is very fragile and they are being pushed out by gambusias the aggressive invasive fish introduced by man to eliminate mosquito larvae but something else is down there it's a dragonfly nymph that is just itching to go through metamorphosis.
To earn its wings it finds itself forced to kill it absorbs the body fluids of its victim but it leaves a tribute to the water where it was born above mosquitoes are springing up centuries ago they spread malaria here even forcing the Spaniards to abandon the castles and fortresses.
One of these little insects was responsible for the death of the greatest Emperor man has ever known Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire and the first of the Spanish Empire with her stomach full the little Wanderer is in High Spirits and has Renewed Energy to continue accompanying her friend the river.
She passes by the largest colony of white storks in Europe and detects a social scent her final destination may be near an absolute Paradise place where the Great River forgets its name the donyana marshlands here everything is different the land seems to be full of life but the Earth.
Traps her feet and the water sometimes has a bite to it salt doniana the dream of a river the guadalcovir's wetlands are the most important bird sanctuary on the continent where close to a million Birds belonging to more than 300 species spend the winter breed or pass through every year making this Estuary Europe's.
Largest Ecological Reserve the purple Heron is one of them it breaks the mirror with its Harpoon to steal fish from the water a few meters away from the big wading bird a purple swamp hand a vegetarian that prefers pulling up tender shoots is demonstrating its great strength but no bird is as amazing as this one.
The greater flamingo they filter the water with their beaks as whales do they're Nomads that have to take great care of their plumage so they can travel up to 300 kilometers in a single night which is why the ancient peoples consider them to be the mythical phoenix the bird that was reborn from its own.
Ashes that is exactly what our traveler has done she has reinvented herself in this new Eden where everything is new to her this ability to adapt is the key to her Zoological family's evolutionary success because if she could fly up like a phoenix she would see that she has reached Paradise.
everybody thank you Legend has it that the sun represents truth and that if you fly too close to it your wings will burn and you will.
Fall back to Earth that's why their feathers burn as they fly over donana and the reason why flamingos represent Resurrection their name comes from the Latin word flama which means the Atlantic Ocean Kingdom of the Sands emerges from that.
Struggle between the two bodies of water here the Ancients spoke of the five dark winds thank you the dunes try to Devour the pine trees in their path while the Pines fight to hold them back this battle creates a landscape found nowhere else in the.
World forests on Sand a hybrid ecosystem that is European that share a species even with China like these Azure winged magpies which are found only here and in parts of Asia able to explain why there are also Little Dragons.
Chameleons kill at a distance and always Shoot Straight To The Head their ancient name means Dragon of the ground which is rather odd for an animal that lives up in the branches or maybe not our traveler has walked more than 700 kilometers from the Sierra de cathola.
Following her master the river and it exchanged the snow for warm sand but her new summer coat isn't going to free her from facing the cat with the paintbrush ears which also lives here they are close enemies The Heirs to two carnivorous lineages that have been feuding for millions of years but they are both females and for that reason.
They have more in common than they may suspect this Siberian Lynx is wearing a collar with a transmitter that biologists put on her in order to discover her secrets the fox has come here to stay and she's not going to let anyone force her out of her new home by the sea doniana.
Does to any geographical type it's a wild Crossroads that all the high-flying tourists on two continents dream of visiting at least once a year but there is an even greater privilege being born here the young Lynx takes his first long stroll alongside his proud mother.
Someday he will hunt his own rabbits at and he will be a playboy among foxes but not just yet the river's sacrifice as its banks disappear and it fans out contributes to the Festival of biodiversity found throughout the wetlands new wings and Claws begin to unravel the secrets of the great journey of life.
There is a large-scale exchange of genes that some carry out in colonies in the trees and others at water level like this purple Heron whose rowdy kids are beginning life with fencing lessons for birds like these it easy to fly the channels in the sky and to choose from up there if they want to roost in one.
Place or another they can even change their minds and leave again but for our River traveler there's no going back she's gone through too much to get here and like the current she can't flow up River oh.
This is her place now the place she has chosen to town to see her Secret foreign on the beach were close to never being born they will never experience the freezing cold nor meet the golden eagle or the.
Poison man because they were born after The Incredible Journey of a survivor her fight is that of every mother wonders of evolution able to create hope greater than any hardship able to tell them what they owe to the river but that doesn't matter because this is just one of the.
Thousands of stories reflected in the waters of the Guadalupe foreign
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