New BCC show Spy in the Wild aims to capture wildlife in its truest form, allowing viewers to obtain insights on animal friendships, anguish and empathy.
The show’s producers attach a camera to life-like robots before sending them to mingle with real animals. In one of the videos, they managed to film monkeys mourning the death of a robot baby. The monkeys surrounded the artificial animal, hugged each other and hushed their chatter in what appeared to be a way of expressing sorrow.
The way animals interact among themselves and their acceptance of the robot as their own left the show’s producers surprised.“We began to see that the cameras were not only recording, they were sometimes eliciting behaviour in a way that made you think,” executive producer John Downer said. “You were having that connection between the spy creature and the animal that you never get with any kind of filming, and so things would develop that you didn’t expect,” he added.
The “spy” robot idea had earlier been dismissed by scientists who believed the animals will rip them apart in minutes. Yet, an artificial dog managed to convince real ones of its authenticity by mimicking their movements.
In its debut episode ‘Love’, the show follows “Spy Pup”– a comprehensive analysis of African wild dogs.“Baby Spy Crocs” documents how a crocodile gets her newborns to safety and “Spy Egret” tails an elephant taking its first steps. But, the monkeys mourning the robot baby along with bereaved giraffes make for some of the episode’s most poignant parts.
Watch the trailer here:
This article originally appeared in The Telegraph.