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No one can compare to it: David Attenborough supports the nature programs produced by BBC.
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No one can compare to it: David Attenborough supports the nature programs produced by BBC.

David Attenborough, a renowned figure, mentions that the BBC’s documentaries on nature have played a significant role in altering the global perspective on conservation. In his most recent series, Mammals, Attenborough sheds light on the negative impact of excessive tourism on cheetahs in overcrowded game reserves. He expresses concern that we might end up unintentionally harming these magnificent creatures due to our excessive affection for them.

Similar to how Blue Planet II brought attention to the issue of plastics, the six-episode BBC One show will likely lead to inquiries about safari vacations due to its portrayal of numerous tourist-filled trucks pursuing sightings of cheetahs hunting and killing, which can result in the abandonment of meat and the death of cubs.

Mammals, which comes 22 years after Attenborough’s acclaimed Life of Mammals, has the broadcaster explain: “With an estimated 69mn visitors to protected sites in Africa each year” parts of it are “becoming overcrowded”.

According to Attenborough, when a hunting cheetah is pursued by vehicles, there is a sense of urgency to capture the best view of the kill. This leads to a competitive atmosphere between the predators and the cars as they both begin their respective hunts.

Attenborough cautions that wildlife experts suggest a maximum of five vehicles per sighting, as the cheetah is surrounded by over 70 trucks after catching its prey.

According to him, tourism plays a crucial role in financing the preservation of animals and their habitats. However, he raises concerns about the potential harm of excessive tourism on cheetahs, with the overwhelming number of vehicles leading to failed hunts and abandoned kills.

Attenborough expresses the following: “Studies have indicated that the presence of a large number of tourists in certain areas greatly diminishes the chances of cubs surviving. There must be a way to balance the need for space for the animals while also allowing human visitors to experience the true essence of the wild. This must be accomplished in order for cheetahs to thrive on the African grasslands.”

During a showing of the BBC Studios program in London, Roger Webb, the executive producer of the series, expressed his hope that it would spark discussions. Similarly, series producer Scott Alexander stated that the BBC’s intention was not to assign blame, but to highlight the truths.

Sir David Attenborough emphasized the significant impact that the BBC’s programs can have, noting that he has witnessed a shift in global perspective due to the work of the BBC Studios’ natural history unit. He also praised the unit for its unparalleled influence on a global scale.

He said the unit, which is cutting up to 7% of its roles due to a TV market slowdown, was “something the BBC can be very, very proud of. The NHU is an extraordinary worldwide organisation which has no parallel anywhere else.”

Attenborough further supported the BBC licence fee because while the NHU falls under the BBC Studios commercial branch, it initially received funding from the public and there is value in having a public service supported by the country.

He expressed his preference for sequences of the desert-dwelling fennec fox, which were difficult to come by. He never expected to witness them, but sadly the producers found out that two of the foxes they were filming had been killed for sport by humans.

Attenborough also highlighted a “breathtaking” sequence of big cats hunting monkeys in treetops at night – made possible, said Webb, thanks to “a man in a shed in Norfolk” adapting a night-time camera.

The BBC utilized advanced technology such as The Beast, an underwater drone developed by skilled individuals. According to producer Daniel Rasmussen, this device enabled the filming of never-before-seen behaviors, such as orcas hunting humpback whales.

Over the course of five years, the documentary “Mammals” showcases previously unreleased footage of wolves coexisting with landmines in the Golan Heights in an effort to avoid human interaction. It also highlights the discovery that echidnas communicate with each other through charming vocalizations and a heartwarming scene featuring Etruscan shrews.

Webb discussed the evolution of filming techniques from Life of Mammals to the present, noting that the current series adopts an unfiltered style that relies less on music and more on natural sounds to fully transport audiences into the animals’ environments.

The premiere of Mammals is on BBC1 on Sunday, March 31.

Source: theguardian.com