In India the BBC used elephants to carry cameras and enable the crew to catch close up footage of ten-day-old tiger cubs.
In the attached video tiger cubs are filmed up "close and personal" courtesy of elephants. Cameras attached to the elephants offer a rare glimpse into jungle life. You may wonder how come the elephants could get so close to tigers but it is simply as they are not viewed as food. In an unspoken pact tigers do not attack full-grown elephants as long as elephants do not trample them to death. A sensible arrangement it would seem.
This led BBC cameramen to decide to utilise the huge beasts as unpaid assistants. Using the elephants proved a great strategy and the camera crew were rewarded with the first-ever footage of newborn tiger cubs reports gizmodo.
In the short clip Mama Tiger is kept busy by four curious cubs. She spends time lovingly washing them before one wanders off. Just like little children, once one misbehaves the rest follow suit. As she gently lifts the first cub in her strong jaws to take it back to camp the rest are spreading out. A mother's work is never done, even in the wild it seems.
The BBC spent two years filming using the "spy in the jungle" technique. This allowed the team to follow young cubs as they grew. The series was shown in the UK on the BBC in 2012 but is available on DVD.
NASA/British Antarctic Survey
A colony of 9000 emperor penguins in Antarctica
This month the BBC has aired another "spy camera" series but this one involves penguins. Cameras, fitted to fake penguins and eggs, infiltrated huge colonies of penguins. The result was amazing footage of these tough birds.
Of course the BBC is renowned for its wildlife filming. David Attenborough has presented many wildlife documentaries on BBC television and the latest series from this award-winning naturalist is simply called Africa. The series Africa presents stunning footage of animals in the "raw". Close up cameras ensure that viewers get a glimpse of life in Africa for the animals involved.
Africa is a stunning series but not for the feint hearted. In an early episode an almost prehistoric looking bird, the shoebill, showed it had a nasty side to match its rather wicked face. A mating couple of the birds had two chicks, one a weakling. When the parents were out of sight the stronger chick mercilessly bullied the "runt".
You felt your spirits lift when the parents returned but these hopes were soon dashed. With food and water scarce the parents decided to concentrate on the stronger chick. That one received all the food and water available whilst the other was pushed away from the group.
That can be the problem with "real" wildlife programs. Life can be hard and cruel especially for creatures that live in the wild. Watching their life play out can be gut and heart wrenching.
At least the filming of the tiger cubs shows a happier side to life in the wild.