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Animal Planet to narrate secret stories of animals in ‘Spy in the Wild’

MUMBAI: Wildlife infotainment channel Animal Planet will launch a new series ‘Spy in the Wild’ presenting engaging secret stories of some of the most intriguing animals on earth.

Premiering on 1 May, the show will air every night at 10 pm aiming to take natural world film-making to a different scale. The channel has deployed award winning teams of directors and cameramen with remote-controlled buggy-cameras, buried periscopes and state-of-the-art technologies to bring forth the lives of the world’s famous animals.

The objective of the series is to give a new perspective on the behaviour, emotions, intelligence and extreme survival tactics used by animals including lions, elephants, polar bears, tigers and penguins.

It will showcase ‘SpyCreatures’ infiltrate the dolphins’ underwater world, offering a glimpse of their intelligence and personalities, while the ‘Bouldercam’ will take viewers to within a whisker of the lion.

The programme will also introduce ‘Dungcam’ and will apply the revolutionary brand of photography to the African Elephant. Using the ‘Tuskcams’ and ‘Trunkcams’, the crew uses intelligence and sensitivity of elephants and seeks support to carry the cameras on their tusks and trunks to film the tigers wherever they go.

With the Bouldercam’s revolutionary sound system, the television will capture all the purrs, roars, yelps and barks of these highly vocal animals. The team also uses mini-cranes, buried cameras and tracking vehicles to grab the action.

Some of the unique production facts while shooting were when the crew shot for the three-part special on Penguins ‘Spy in the Huddle’ where 1,000 hours of intimate behaviour were recorded. With emperor penguins, this proved to be the longest continuous shoot of emperors for more than 330 consecutive days.

For the special on Dolphins ‘Spy in the Pod’, 900 hours of intimate behaviour were recorded over the course of one year in countries like Mozambique, Canada, Florida, South Carolina, Honduras, Costa Rica, Australia, South Africa and Argentina.

Among the episodes that will be showcased include ‘Tiger – Spy in the Jungle’ where the elephant camera crew will reveal the story of four cubs growing up. By following the tiger, the camera-carrying elephants uncover a wildlife world encountering sloth bears and leopards. The episode also brings to light the red dogs which are fearsome creatures.

Another episode on ‘Polar Bear – Spy on the Ice’ will showcase their life through the Icebergcam, Blizzardcam and Snowballcam. Backed up by Snowcam and Driftcam, the camouflaged cameras reveal the curiosity and intelligence of the polar bear. The cameras also follow the bears as they hunt seals, raid bird colonies, dive for kelp and indulge in entertaining courtship rituals.

‘Elephants – Spy in the Herd’ will present the life span, social structure, wisdom of age and emotional bonds between elephants. The cameras are disguised as elephant dung. Shots are captured as the cameras are carried by the elephants or even kicked like a football. The intimacy of the ‘dungcams’ images reveal the subtleties of elephant life.

In ‘Dolphins – Spy in the Pod’ the channel uses a blend of imagery, analysis of behaviour and moments of humour to look at the secret lives of the charismatic animals.

‘Lion – Spy in the Den’ will be shot through the ‘bouldercam’ and buggy with surround sound, all hidden in a boulder.

‘Penguins – Spy in the Huddle’ showcases the crew spending nearly a year in the close company, deploying 50 spy cams to capture the true character of three very different, yet equally charismatic, birds.