Blood Warriors (Full Episode) | Primal Survivor

these are the two teeth marks of a leopard this is quite a reality check these hills are filled with lethal predators and i run the risk of winding up like this poor goat in some of the most inhospitable places on earth tribal people have survived against the odds for thousands of years i'm hazen audell survival instructor and wilderness guide i want to learn from the masters so i'm traveling to some of the most remote corners of the globe to take on the toughest tribal challenges to succeed i must survive the tribe these arrows have got to count amazing absolutely amazing this time i'm with the samburu a herding tribe whose lives traditionally depend on cattle [Music] a complete survival kit the cow can provide all the food these warriors need milk meat and blood the samburu live in an arid region of equatorial kenya it's a varied landscape from mountain ranges to scrub and desert plains but it's all tough after three days of traveling i reach an isolated village this is my introduction to one of africa's most formidable tribes [Music] the look that these people have the way they look at you and how tall they are it is intimidating these are the guys that are going to show me what it's like to live out here [Music] i'm here to learn the unique survival skills of the samburu i have 10 days to master the techniques they've honed over centuries before i take on the ultimate challenge an extreme multi-day cattle drive to deliver famished cows to essential new pastures going through one of the most hostile environments in the world my mentor while i'm here will be kasana he is one of the samburu elite who take on the vital responsibility of protecting the community's livestock i start immersing myself in tribal life by dressing in a traditional ashuka kasana then sets my first task identifying dangerous animals that have come close to the village perimeter the samburu share their home with some of the most deadly creatures on the planet they are prepared for attack at all times and routinely scout for signs of danger in the area straight away i come across some fresh tracks you can just barely make it out there's the main paw the toe and prince a little bit of claw it's a hyena track these predators prey on the samburu's livestock but can also attack and kill humans [Music] hyenas for these people are one of the most dangerous animals it's not just tooth and claw that i have to be on high alert for this is a track that's really easy to spot right there that's an elephant track these are the largest land mammals on earth and can bulldoze anything that gets in their way these guys live right next door to some dangerous dangerous animals the samburu's main concern isn't humans being attacked but they're precious cattle whose importance permeates every level of tribal life here not only can they provide all their food but they're also marriage dowries and an elder's wealth is determined by the size of his herd it's their grocery store and life savings but above all it gives them status within the tribe next i have to take some of these precious cows to water directly through predator territory it's the end of the dry season and water is at its most scarce the nearest functioning well is an hour away take this one okay let's get big horns i'm a novice at herding so kasana has started me off small with five cows hurting is a basic skill i've got to master otherwise i'll be a liability on the final challenge of the cattle drive to get the herd to go left you come in from the right and vice versa it's not rocket science but simple things aren't always easy it's already hard work keeping up with these guys they want to get to water [Music] there's a lot of running around that in this heat is sapping my energy and fluids quickly dehydration in these conditions can have dangerous effects i can understand these cows are very lean there's no fat on them like american cows after an hour we reach the well it's the only water source in the area so will also be a draw for any local predators kasana is satisfied that i can handle a small herd but that was just the first test my fluid levels are low but the priority now is to get water for the cows i'll have to wait [Music] this well has been dug straight into the sand with no supporting structure and it regularly collapses these sides are so unstable here we go these walls just keep caving in on us cows need a lot of water and getting it out of the ground and up to the trough is serious physical [Music] work on the final challenge getting water is going to be a huge task there will be a much larger herd to deal with and no permanent wells along the trail [Music] in this arid landscape using as little water as possible is a key survival strategy it's embedded in samburu life and my host mother shows me how the village women clean their kitchenware without water put some of the charcoal in there they shake it around [Music] this is how they clean their dishes cleanliness is important here in these temperatures food spoils rapidly and whenever possible it's consumed fresh like the samburu superfood cow's blood packed full of protein this is an important part of the warriors diet and is drunk straight from the cow but collecting it requires a steady hand and a sure shot this is a very special arrow tip it's only meant to go that deep just through the skin and penetrate one side of the jugular that's got to be precise if you don't do it in the right spot you're in the risk of killing one of the cows killing a cow here would take away a vital food source and deprive the samburu of their most valuable asset that would probably be the worst thing i could possibly do here okay kasana has selected our donor now to catch a cow a tourniquet is tied around the cow's neck constricting the blood flow brings the veins to the surface of the skin making a clearer target [Music] i've got to fire the arrow point blank and with the precise amount of force cause sonnet tells me the cow will feel a little pain but i'm uncomfortable doing this i don't want to mess nervous i've got to stay focused and hold my nerve time to go for the jugular i didn't fire with enough force [Music] this is my last chance casano marks out exactly where i have to hit [Music] i haven't succeeded this time it's turned out to be much harder than i thought but this is a skill i've got to master because it will be essential on the cattle drive [Music] cassano shows me how it's done you know i i made multiple attempts on the neck of this poor cow i wasn't getting the jugular the samburu might take two pints of blood at a time [Music] then the wound is pinched shut no band-aid needed here this cow will be good as new and a relatively short amount of time finally a handful of sand is used to help seal the wound and the cow is fine as for me things are about to get uncomfortable i'm going to have to drink the blood but once it's exposed to air it starts to solidify with vigorous stirring the coagulant collects on the stick and can be removed so the rest is liquid and then there's just the coagulated blood evidently they feed this to the dog it's time to drink this is a totally new experience for me and i know there's a genuine risk of illness the first sip was hard to keep down but each one after that gets slightly easier this is going to take some getting used to [Music] now for the second course a samburu smoothie blood mixed with milk it tastes a lot better tastes more like milk and hint of blood warriors have lived off of only blood and milk for months at a time and for the rest of my stay here this will be my diet lunch break over it's time to get back to work deadly wildlife is a constant threat and the tribe has built a ring of thorns around the village to protect humans and livestock alike legiora the patriarch of the family i'm staying with shows me how to maintain this vital defense this stuff is pretty incredible it's like nature's barbed wire you look at these thorns spikes like this will keep the cattle in and hopefully the animals that want to eat them out they're almost impossible to handle so some buru have a tool for the job this is an interesting stick specially made to mend these fences it has a way to tuck in those branches and then it has a hook to grab anything you can do to keep your fragile fingers away from those huge thorns on the cattle drive i'll build a thorn fence like this from scratch during the night it will be the only thing standing between me and the deadly wild animals just outside the village there's a shocking reminder of what the defenses are made to keep out we're called to a leopard kill that happened within the last couple of hours one of the girls of the village was hurting about 40 goats and all of a sudden a leopard pounced out of the bush took down one of her goats she got really scared she was terrified she ran back to the village to tell the elders and here they are these big cats easily pick off livestock and even though it's rare some have become man-eaters [Music] this is quite a reality check these hills are filled with lethal predators and i'm going to be out here spending the night with my livestock and i run the risk of winding up like this poor goat at dusk the whole community in their livestock retreat behind the safety of the thorn fence i bed down in my host family's hut it's my first experience being in a place like this where you look outside and there's tracks of hyena and leopard elephant and then you go inside the thorn fence and then you get to be here in the safety of your village and feels pretty nice actually sleep is a survival necessity that is often overlooked [Music] not getting enough makes it harder to think clearly which could be life-threatening in this hostile environment but the time to get valuable rest is when the most dangerous predators come out to hunt searching for easy prey [Music] disturbances have to be confronted head on predators might have breached the defenses the warriors only concern is to fight off whatever might be attacking them big surprise to me they just all woke up all of a sudden i didn't know what's going on i just followed them and then they're all running it was pitch black i figured something was going on with the cattle it seems to be a false alarm but it shows kasana how i'd react in the event of an attack on the cattle drive when these attacks happen you have to be there on the spot right away okay let's get back to bed this has been an important lesson from now on i'll have to be on high alert [Music] the samburu traditionally don't grow anything taking great pride in how their livestock can provide everything they need but there's one wild food they'll always forage for honey kassana is taking us to a hive he recently discovered like most things in nature it's not place for our convenience it's more than 25 feet up a tree right there is a dead palm tree and i can just barely see the swarm of bees flying into a hole we have to be on our guard the moment the bees sense that the hive is under threat they'll attack smoke helps to subdue them so before we do anything a fire has to be started everything here is bone dry and the tinder catches first time yeah yeah wow we've got a fire protective measures in place we can start to chop the tree down but it's not going to come easily once the tree's fallen all that stands between us and the honey is a swarm of angry african bees when a bee stings it releases an alarm pheromone when other bees detect this they go into a defensive frenzy but they're stinging me the others are getting stung as much as me but they aren't showing any reaction to the pain away from the angry bees i finally get to taste the honey oh my god never has honey ever tasted this amazing especially considering i've been on a diet of only milk and blood this is like with every bite it feels like like the sugar's just penetrating the cells as if my body has been so needing this returning to the village with our bounty is a happy occasion everybody has just found their piece and they're running off with it so they can enjoy it all to themselves [Music] but it's not long before i'm back on my warrior diet this is dinner it's been sitting out all day in the warm kenyan day and the fats have sat on top there's like a big floating scab and top [Music] a new day and a new lesson yesterday i thought it was okay to react to the bee stings but kasana is concerned because some guru warriors do not show pain in this dangerous environment it's a distraction they can't afford because wants to get me into a warrior frame of mind thousands of ants are coming out ah they're like fire ants these ants are small but they can sure pack a punch it's like a cigarette burn ah kasana and the junior warriors are also getting stung but once again they aren't showing any reaction to the pain i'm just trying not to feel them crawling all over me and i'm just absolutely trying to dissolve the feeling of this burning that's all over my back right now if i'm gonna deal with pain here i've got to keep it to myself i can feel one going right into my eye total concentration the true samburu warrior deals with all hardships in silence they are never supposed to show how hungry they are how tired they are these guys just have to maintain a stoic lifestyle it's all about keeping complete focus on protecting the cows at all costs it's a state of mind that i'll have to adopt on the cattle drive otherwise i'll be putting the cows the samburu depend on in danger i proved i can handle the pain but so far i failed to master collecting the samburu superfood blood kasana is letting me have one final attempt the jugular's exposed now here we go again if i fail this time my future as a blood warrior will be under threat this is my last chance to prove that i can get blood from a cow they're so happy that i finally got this they are so happy for me jump jump okay little bit of sand it feels good these guys have a lot more confidence in me now never has warm blood and milk tasted so good this is a breakthrough for a samburu warrior the ability to live off a cow is the key to self-sufficiency in the bush i'm almost ready for the cattle drive there's just one last skill to master how to defend against attacking animals my host father le hora is showing me how to make a samburu club back home i do a lot of work with wood i know how important it is to get the right piece for the job legera has scouted out the perfect tree for what we need this wood that he's chosen he is really hard okay yeah that would probably do some damage this big stick is going to turn into something like this the warriors carry these with them every day wherever they go and when push comes to shove these are [Music] lethal after hours of patient carving it's ready to be put through its paces first and foremost it's an offensive weapon capable of killing any attacking animal it also has a secondary defensive use this is used to throw with accuracy into a herd of say elephants it scares them away and keeps us all safe and that's what i'm gonna learn to do now kasana shows me how it's done using a tree about a hundred feet away as a target damn i can't believe the accuracy of these guys have penalty i'm way off target because sana quickly spots where i'm going wrong i'm not holding it in the right way so that there okay the new grip has drastically improved my accuracy [Music] i don't want to have to use it but this powerful skill could mean the difference between life and death when defending against wild animals in the bush i'm now equipped with all the skills needed for the cattle drive this is going to be like nothing i've done before it's not just about keeping myself alive but also an entire herd of valuable cows tomorrow is the day kasana has decided that i should eat my first solid food in a week giving me a vital energy boost the samburu slaughter their highly prized cows rarely but for goats it's a different story and this is not gonna be your everyday barbecue apparently what they do before we eat the meat of this goat is they drink the blood of the goat first i'll be doing the drinking direct from the dying animal the goat has its throat slit you can see the jugular right there oh my god a cup is made from a flap of neck skinny [Music] i don't know how much more blood i [Music] but what's left is just blood jello this is what they do they've been doing this their entire lives this is uh this is samburu life and it's no big deal to me this is a huge deal that was way outside my comfort zone and a giant step into the world of the samburu warrior i have left my western inhibitions behind and embraced the traditions of the tribe and after the ritual the reward these guys are making such short work of this goat so they've partitioned all the meat now all these meat go to certain individuals from the elders getting the head to the married women of the village getting the entrails every group in the highly ordered samburu society gets a specific part of the goat the warriors get the best cuts the ribs and hind legs that we cook up immediately ribs are the first thing to be done look at that sweet tasty juicy ribs this is my first solid food in a week after my blood and milk diet it's one of the tastiest meals i've ever had i'm so good with a full stomach my body feels prepared for tomorrow's big cattle drive but my mind is full of uncertainties i'm just trying to think about what it's going to be like it's uncharted territory for me and out there i don't know where water is i don't have the safety of my village and that's reality it's early morning on the first day of the cattle drive nearly all grazing around the village has been exhausted it's vital i get these cows to new pasture the village elders have gathered to discuss what i'm doing i originally thought that i was just taking my my host father's cows but all these villagers say that i take their cows as well this is a much bigger challenge than i had thought i can't mess this up these cattle mean too much to these people actually kasana tells me the exact size the herd is going to be we're going to be taking 70 cows out on this trek that's a lot of cows 70 chances of things to go wrong it's humbling that the elders trust me this much but it's a huge step up i was only dealing with five cows before the herd includes calves vulnerable to dehydration and easy pickings for predators in the bush kassana has told me that it's going to be a two-day trek through hazardous terrain we'll be surrounded by killer wildlife and exposed to the elements the final test will be a perilous climb into the mountains where good grazing can still be found here i'll hand over the cows to a relief team of warriors there's one final bombshell kasana what was going to be a test has now become a trial a large herd needs more than one person to move them so i'm joined by the junior warriors i've been training with otayo and lesian you know i haven't had one of these yet but it's pretty self-explanatory we are taking no food or drink with us the cows will provide all of our sustenance and water will have to be dug out along the way there's just time for a goodbye from kasana and my host father [Music] my final challenge has begun not turning back now it's early morning and it's already hot the temperature is only going to climb from here being in the back here mostly it's just dusty the cows walk with a brisk pace and to collect strays i have to run around in this heat the extra exertion is rapidly depleting my water reserves i find this hard work even just to keep up with the cows at this pace it's still morning the heat of the day hasn't really shown up yet it's mostly thick scrub here and the best route to take is the clear dried out riverbeds the samburu say leopards could be lying in wait shrouded by the bushes we have to be cautious now we're in this area with a bunch of dense vegetation a perfect place for one of these calves to be picked off [Music] it's the hottest part of the day now and none of us can go on much longer if we can't find water i'm really suffering from fluid loss but i must adopt the warrior way and stay focused the more fragile calves are at serious risk of dying from dehydration fortunately nature leaves clues for where to start looking for a drink this kind of plant means that there's water right here hit bedrock but right before you hit bedrock see all that sand how it sticks to the tip that's all water while the junior warriors protect the cattle i dig down to the water [Music] different types of sand can hold enormous amounts of water [Music] oh my god water kasana would not be impressed to see me drinking before the cows but i'm desperate now i can continue digging to make sure the cows get their share clearly other herders have dug here before us nearby we find an old discarded trough for the cattle to drink from once the cows have had their fill we carry on until near sunset [Music] our grueling day isn't over yet we still have to make camp where are you spending the night right here to protect ourselves from wild animals we're going to build a version of the thorn fence that surrounds the village this is a nice open area but we're going to utilize what's already existing to our advantage it'll be a circular corral these walls will all be thorny shrubs this center circle that's where we'll put the calves we'll sleep alongside the cattle and then this right here this is the one opening that we'll have to this entire structure that we're going to build time to get to work [Music] with our defenses complete matayo and i have put our tracking skills to use looking for signs of dangerous animals nearby baboons are calling i'm up in the hills it's not unheard of for troops of baboons to seriously injure humans or rip apart livestock it's kind of spooky then the tracks we'd feared those are leopard tracks from today i've already seen how bold they can be when picking off livestock those tracks may be of a leopard that's stalking our cattle right now we just have to hope the thorn fence does its job through the night time to try and rest this is bad and to top it off this is our pillow and i'm perfectly fine with it i'm ready to collapse but i have to be on my guard for any potential attacks this is when the cattle are at their most vulnerable [Music] tonight we're gonna sleep with one eye closed and one eye open we have to listen to the cows and if any sign of danger we have to wake up and we have to respond immediately we're all exhausted but i'm too on edge about what could be out there to sleep for long as we're all sleeping here there's mataya fast asleep see one [Music] you just wake up all of a sudden because these cows they just start running in the corral and you're sleeping on the ground you just have to jump up and get out of the way before you even know what's going on because you're in the risk of all these cows just stampeding you it's freaky there is something out there and the cattle refuse to settle for the rest of the night there will be little sleep now before dawn at first light what could have been scaring the herd reveals itself it was just snooping around the corral i just woke up and there was a hyena just staring right at us it's a little bit unnerving the cattle are safe and we've made it through the night but the toughest part of the journey is yet to come i said mataio points out our ultimate destination we're gonna be taking these cattle up to the top of that mountain yesterday was tough but getting 70 cows up a mountain is taking it to another level the fragile calves are on the edge [Music] the extra exertion of climbing could finish them off but they have to get up to the new pasture from here we're just trying to find the best route to get up onto that ridge if we choose a bad route we run the risk of taking up all these cattle up something steep it could be really difficult getting these things off that mountain this is the crux of the challenge it looks like an impossible task but there's no turning back now some of the cattle would never make it back to the village we have to press on we're definitely in the climb now it's the final hurdle but i can't let my guard down for a moment we're still in leopard ambush territory [Music] if an attack happens now i will be expected to defend the cows with my life and in this landscape that's going to be no easy task everything is covered with thorns every step you take rock rolls out from under your feet you're getting tangled up scratched up snagged some of the most unpalatable train i've ever been in after hours of tough climbing i finally see the warriors that i'm handing the herd over to we've made it spot yes somebody here comes yeah they just asked if all of our cows made it up here yes indeed they did they're all up here they're all grazing now and they are happy bringing the herd up to vital new pastures has been a tough but rewarding journey of discovery the samburu survive in one of the most inhospitable places on earth because of one thing their cattle of the skills i've learned have equipped me to keep these cows alive and in return they've been my complete survival package i make the journey back to the village bringing news to the elders that all their precious cattle made it safely up to the new pastors that was a test of my endurance that i will have with me my entire life it feels so good to be back and to see all these smiling faces they know that i went through a lot after my host father last to congratulate me is my mentor seeing how pleased he is it's clear i've survived the tribe but more than that i feel i've become a blood warrior [Music] you

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