This is from a few years ago, but it came to my attention and I felt like posting it.
I have mixed feelings about nature documentaries that interfere with their subjects. Back in college, I spent a short time studying how proximity to humans affects various animals, and through things like heart rate monitors hidden in penguin and duck nests, we know that even seeing humans can cause an elevated heart rate. I know that’s how most people react when they see me, but in this case that means that the animals are burning calories they don’t need to burn, which can cause problems with things like incubating eggs.
This polar bear and her two cubs were being followed and filmed by a BBC crew, and on one of the days she decided to see if she could get herself a snack:
She spent about 40 minutes trying to open the packaging on the human, before giving up and moving on. Personally I feel like they should have given her something in exchange for wasting her time and energy, but at the very least, I’m glad nobody on either side was hurt.
Gordon Buchanan, however, got to burn some calories like the birds I mentioned above:
“I was terrified and you could hear my heartbeat on the mic. It really was a sensational moment and a worrying situation.
“It shows how enormous and powerful they are. It is the most difficult thing I have done and the scariest. I’ve not been terrified for 40 minutes before.”