Saturday, December 25, 2010

No I DON'T want my picture taken: Polar bear smashes £130,000 of camera equipment during wildlife documentary


Chase me: The bear sets his sights on the mobile blizzard camera

Wildlife documentary-makers are going to increasingly cunning means to sneak into the secret world of their subjects but don't think for a second that the animals are fooled, as these images prove.

Award-winning director John Downer had disguised one of his remote-controlled spy cameras as a large snowball to capture the journey of a polar bear mother and her cub crossing the sea ice in Svalbard, Norway, in search of seals.

But - in a documentary Dowler says captures the bears' 'astonishing intelligence' - this adult male wasn't having the wool pulled over his eyes.

Gotcha: Once the bear gets hold of the expensive piece of equipment ... doesn't stand a chance and the bear reduces the £100,000 piece to pieces

Instead, he marched straight up to the 'snowball' camera and, after briefly exploring it with a massive paw, gave the director and his producer a close-up while he smashed it to pieces.

But the bear wasn't finished there and without pause for thought he set his sights on a second piece of equipment, Downer's £100,000 blizzard camera.

The 'blizzard cam' is on wheels and remote-controlled, and even though the film-maker tried to steer the expensive equipment out of harms way it was no match for an angry polar bear weighing upwards of half a ton.

Round two: The bear finds the snowball camera, gives it the once over with his massive paws and then ...

... smashes it to bits, sending half of it spinning away into the arctic wastes

Fortunately, the documentary maker had other equipment with which to record the attacks and, after destroying two cameras, the bear calmed down.

'Curiosity satisfied, the animals eventually behaved normally,' said Mr Downer.

'Ultimately, out spycams reveal that polar bears’ intelligence and curiosity are key to their survival in a world of shrinking ice.'

His film, Polar Bear: Spy On The Ice, is on BBC1 next Wednesday.

What are you looking at: The spy cameras took some incredible close-up footage before they were destroyed

source: dailymail

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