Spy in the wild

I’ve been enjoying this new BBC series calledĀ Spy in the wild.

They send these robot cameras in various disguises to live amongst the animals, blending in and secretly filming. The animatronic spies are very amusing.

Here’s a good clip that also shows how intelligent and curious animals can be:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04px5zw

What has been interesting is that technology becomes the narrative – the animal families engage with the cameras, seeming to know that they look like themselves but that something is not quite right. A group of monkeys accidentally drop one monkey spy and they all gather round and mourn it.

Ok, so the best photography is actually captured by the real human cameramen who shoot from a distance, but it’s a new way of doing nature TV that is showing some interesting behaviour.

 

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The Cruelest Show on Earth finally comes to an end

You know who I mean.

The big top tent of Ringling Bros circus will come down for the final time, at long last, after 146 years of well-documented animal cruelty and abuse.

Of particular attention to animal welfare activists has been the ‘breaking’ of elephants and the cruelty they suffer at the hands of their ‘trainers’; training which, by the way, is not required to submit to any legal welfare protection agency.

The happy news comes 5 years after the last British circus to exploit wild animals, the Great British Circus, drew to a close in 2012. Ringling Bros finally retired their elephants in 2016 to a conservation centre in Florida, losing their star attraction.

The company cited economic reasons for its closure, claiming that the train travel business model was no longer viable. Ticket sales have been dwindling, as they have with Seaworld since the truth of its cruelty towards wild animals became public knowledge because of documentaries such asĀ Blackfish.

Animal activists can I think be more optimistic and see that people’s tastes in what classes as “entertainment” are certainly changing and fewer people are comfortable with bearing witness to animal humiliation and abuse for human amusement.

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