Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Attenborough defends zoo footage

Sir David Attenborough narrates the BBC's Frozen Planet

Sir David Attenborough has defended using footage in his Frozen Planet series of a polar bear tending her newborn cubs that was shot in a zoo.

The veteran broadcaster said the decision to film in the zoo was made for "the safety of the animal".

He told ITV1's This Morning: "If you had tried to put a camera in the wild in a polar bear den, she would either have killed the cub or she would have killed the cameraman, one or the other."

He said explaining about the zoo during the show's commentary would have ruined the atmosphere, adding: "It's not falsehood and we don't keep it secret either."

The BBC has denied misleading viewers over the footage and said the way it had been captured was "clearly explained" in the programme website. "This particular sequence would be impossible to film in the wild," a spokeswoman said.

"The commentary accompanying the sequence is carefully worded so it doesn't mislead the audience and the way the footage was captured is clearly explained on the programme website."

The footage, narrated by Sir David, was made in a German zoo and was mixed with real wild scenes.

Producer Kathryn Jeffs said on the website that female polar bears give birth at the peak of the winter. "The problem for us is that they do it underneath the snow in these dens of ice," she said.

"There is absolutely no way that we can get our cameras down there, it would just be completely impractical."

John Whittingdale MP, chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport committee, told the Daily Mirror: "If this was not filmed in the wild it would have been much better to have made that clear in the commentary."

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Taurus:

Getting a handle on anxiety is critical. There's no point fretting over matters that are beyond your control. Fortunately, there have been many helpful books written on this subject. Acquiring coping strategies could be one of the smartest things you will ever do. The sooner you learn not to sweat the small stuff, the happier you will be. Life will become more spontaneous and you will take greater pleasure in daily blessings. Your relationships will also improve, both at home and at work.More