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Elephants: Spy in the Herd


We have produced a Style Guide to help editors follow a standard format when editing a listing. If you are unsure how best to edit this programme please take a moment to read it.
Question: how do you film deep inside a herd of African elephants without incurring the wrath of a gang of seven-ton bulls? Answer: put a remote-controlled camera on wheels and disguise it as a pile of elephant dung.
Continuing the occasional Wildlife Specials series, this ingenious, if unorthodox, method enabled the crew to gain an intimate insight into the workings of elephant society in Kenya. The results gained from the cameras include battling bulls, a newborn being helped to its feet, and the herd plunging into mud pools. David Attenborough narrates.
Wildlife on One: Peregrine - Nature's Top Gun is Wednesday 7pm
Elevision: page 11

Wildlife: Elephants: Spy in the Herd 9.00pm BBC1
Who can resist the cuteness of a baby elephant? Not a wildlife camera crew, that's for sure. This revealing view of elephant life in Africa has enough shots of calves fooling about to satisfy the soppiest viewer. But it also has a few surprises, such as when a horny bull who's trying to get it on with a female lashes out at a calf who's distracting her.
There are lots of intimate views of elephant life here, courtesy of some cunningly disguised "dung cams". The film-makers are so excited about these devices that they spend too much time showing us the cameras instead of what they're filming, and when a curious bull gives one of the dung cams a playful kick, they can scarcely contain their excitement, even cracking some feeble football gags on the voice-over.
(David Butcher)


Narrator: David Attenborough
Producer: John Downer
Executive Producer: Adam Kemp
Executive Producer: Neil Nightingale

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Feedback about Elephants: Spy in the Herd, BBC One London, 21.00, 20 July 2003
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