Animals with Cameras reveal what they see

Wednesday: Animals with Cameras; (BBC Two, 8pm)

Much like the creatures and places it chronicles, natural world documentaries are always evolving.

Just when you think there is nothing new to see and learn about the planet’s creatures and habitats, along come series like Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Ice on Fire, all employing mind-boggling advances in technology to give viewers a whole new perspective on the world around us.

When Animals with Cameras first debuted on BBC Two in 2018, it also brought something completely different to the table.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo with specially designed collar camera

Gordon Buchanan, the award-winning wildlife filmmaker and naturalist behind Tribes and Life in the Snow, utilised a revolutionary way to reveal animals’ habits and personalities and attempted to show us what animals think about and what they do when we’re not there to see them.

By clipping discreet and lightweight on-board video devices to creatures, Animals with Cameras was able to show us exactly how they see the world.

“There’s a very high bar with wildlife documentaries these days,” Buchanan told the Daily Mail.

“Blue Planet II leapt over it with a good bit of clearance and blew people away.

“Animals With Cameras does that, too, by revealing aspects of life that it simply was not possible to see before.”

During the first series three years ago, we saw how dominant meerkat females called the shots, how South Atlantic penguins used their knowhow to forage for food, and how a four-year-old orphan chimp negotiated the treetops of Cameroon’s forests.

Now, Animals with Cameras II promises to reveal more ground-breaking new behaviour in some of our favourite animals, along the way helping scientists answer important questions about the way that they live under increasing human pressure.

During this series, we will uncover some of the enigma behind the curious lives of koalas and kangaroos, and take to the air with a fleet of flying foxes and a squadron of gannets.

However, in the of four brand-new episodes, we head into the oceans.

Cape Verde, off the west coast of Africa, has one of the world’s largest populations of nesting loggerhead turtles, and here Gordon meets the scientists working to find out more about this animal.

Meanwhile, in the Bahamas, the team are out on the water with experts to fit a specially designed camera to a Caribbean reef shark, giving a view of the reef as they glide through gullies of coral inaccessible to human divers.

One of the biggest challenges on this series is to make the equipment robust enough to withstand attention from its furry, slimy and scaly camera crew.

Thankfully, Gordon has again received help from tech specialist and experienced cameraman, Chris Watts, the man tasked with rigging animals with the latest POV kit.

Speaking to TechRadar, Chris said, “I really believe the show is different, because rather than just putting a camera on an animal for a few moments to get a cool shot, we have worked alongside scientists to really try and discover something new about their lives.

“In terms of capturing animals, what better way is there than to have the opportunity to develop cameras for them to film themselves and tell their own narrative?”

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