BBC Crew Rescue Trapped Penguins in Unprecedented Move
While filming “Dynasties” with Sir David Attenborough in Antarctica, the BBC wildlife film crew made an unprecedented decision to help rescue some penguins.
One of the ‘cardinal rules’ of wildlife documentaries is to not intervene or interfere with events they are attempting to capture on film. After grappling with the decision, the crew determined that the intervention didn’t pose any danger to them or the animals; that they weren’t changing the dynamics of the natural system; and that they weren’t depriving any other creatures of food.
According to The Guardian, many top leading wildlife camera operators and film-makers have defended the film crew’s decision. Additionally:
Mike Gunton, the executive producer of the series, also defended the crew’s decision to help the penguins. He told Radio 4’s Today programme: “In the 30 years I’ve been doing this, it’s one of the very few occasions when we’ve ever done anything like this because it’s a very unusual situation. Normally, you don’t interfere, you can’t interfere, or you wouldn’t interfere because of all sorts of consequences.
“One, it would be very dangerous to do often for both you and the animal. Also, you’ll probably be changing the dynamics of the natural system or you might be depriving something of its food. But, in this particular situation, none of those things applied.”
While it has previously been reported that Attenborough had opposed the move, saying that “tragedy is a part of life”, Gunton said that the presenter had told him he also would have rescued the penguins. [source]