Wild Russia is a landmark High Definition series charting a journey across this vast land that stretches from Europe to the Pacific Ocean. Covering 11 time zones, this huge country contains a wealth of unspoilt natural wildernesses - beyond the huge cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, a primal world with rough mountain summits, wild rivers and an unmatched flora and fauna reveals itself.
Through unprecedented access we showcase the wild spectacle that is the Russian continent. Across six dramatic episodes we explore this diverse and even exotic country. Russia is a place of superlatives proving that size does matter. Few countries are home to such extraordinary mammals: the Amur Tiger is the world’s largest cat; the Polar Bear is the world’s largest land predator; massive brown bears scour the rivers in search of salmon. The Russian skies are home to the world’s largest owl and majestic sea eagles. In the freezing northern waters, walruses and Beluga whales hunt for fish. It also provides a refuge for some for some incredibly rare species – including the beautiful and elusive Amur Leopard.
Part 1: Siberia
Accounting for around 10 per cent of the world’s dry land, Siberia is famous as a brutally cold place. Yet it is home to a diverse range of habitats and animal life – including musk deer, camels, gazelles and the extraordinary Siberian salamander, which can spend years encased in -40C ice and still survive. Exploring from the frozen north to the southern steppes, this is the real Siberia.
Part 2: Kamchatka
A land of fire and ice, the volcanic peninsula of Kamchatka lies in Russia’s Far East. With the land constantly being reworked by eruptions and landslides, this far-flung part of the country is dangerous, but incredibly fertile. Heading right into this magical land, this stunning film follows soaring golden eagles, scavenging wolverines, young red foxes and local brown bears partial to a dip in a natural hot spring.
Part 3: Arctic
The Russian Arctic is one of the world’s most extreme habitats, yet it is a haven for polar bears, lemmings, arctic foxes and walruses. In late August, massive muskoxen bulls gather together to compete for mating dominance. Each bull can weigh 400 kilogram’s and charge at a speed of 40 kilometres an hour; a head-to-head impact can be heard more than a kilometre away
Part 4: The Great Devide
From high snowy peaks to baking deserts, the Caucasus is much more than a simple mountain range. With habitats including forests, alpine meadows and arid salt flats, like the rest of Russia it boasts a dazzling array of wildlife. Home to wild boars, Eurasian lynx, long-eared hedgehogs, bezoar ibex, rare highland European bison and the truly bizarre glass lizard, this area is another jewel in Russia’s wilderness crown.
Part 5: The Secret Forest
While Asiatic black bears hang from the trees and chipmunks search for food, the spotted sika deer travels to the coast to supplement its diet with kelp. The presence of deer on this open ground attracts the region's big predator, the Amur tiger. But the largest cat in the world has dangerous enemies itself: poaching and habitat destruction are an ever-present threat to tigers in the Ussuriland region of Russia.
Part 6: Primeval Valleys
Travel through the majestic primeval forests of the Urals. This Russian sanctuary is a land of extremes where giant deer and half-tonne leviathans. Eurasian elk make seasonal journeys in search of food. Unlike other deer, Eurasian elk are normally solitary and for pregnant females, the stress of meeting leads to fighting. As the snow retreats, opportunists like lone wolves advance to feed on winter's victims…