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'Nature's Miracle Orphans'
(DVD / NR / 2015 / PBS)

Overview: The first months of an animal's life are crucial - if they lose their mothers, they'll need help. Meet the wild orphans getting a second chance, and those devoted to saving them.

DVD Verdict: When the news is filled with awful things that human beings do, both to themselves and the Earth as a whole, it's a relief to turn to a program like 'Nature's Miracle Orphans' to restore the soul. Here we see compassionate human beings giving all their love, care, and attention to orphaned animals -- often orphaned because of other human beings, sadly.

For me, these stories not only emphasize the good that we can do for our fellow creatures, but how much good they do for us, in reminding us that we're all essentially the same. Most animals, particularly mammals, not only want and need food, shelter, security -- they also need love and affection. In the end, we're no different.

And in watching the bonds between these orphaned baby animals and the people who give so much of themselves to help, we're also reminded of what really matters in this world. Every living creature is a unique individual, only here on this Earth for a brief moment in time, and equally deserving of decency and respect.

No doubt some will scoff at that suggestion, calling it soft-hearted, sentimental slop. To me, that simply exposes the gaping holes in their own damaged souls. No question but that life can be hard and unforgiving at times ... but that's all the more reason to do what we can to alleviate that harshness, if it's in our power to do so. The poet W. H. Auden once wrote: "We must love one another or die."

I'd say that applies to other animals as well, not just to ourselves. This lovely program richly illustrates how much we all have to gain by doing just that. In this captivating two-part mini-series, fall in love with baby koala Danny, tiny wallaby Neil, baby sloth Newbie, young kangaroo Harry and baby fruit bat Bugsy, and with their caring foster mothers, who give so much of themselves to help these little orphans find their way back to the wild. Most highly recommended! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.