Monkey Planet

BBC NHU

This sequence for Monkey Planet took us to South Africa's Western Cape and the world's most southerly troop of baboons. Unusually, this particular troop favoured sleeping in an underground cave. Our brief was to capture this behaviour and film their underground antics remotely using unmanned cameras.

Safety was paramount and we had to work around the baboons schedule. After counting them all out on the first morning we descended into the cave (past an active bees nest!) and began rigging the cameras, infrared lights and hundreds of metres of cabling. The curious/destructive nature of the baboons meant that we ended up re-rigging and repairing on an almost daily basis!

The baboons would usually arrive at the cave entrance, a circular hole about 1m diameter, shortly before dusk which meant we had to ensure we had vacated with enough time. Our 'control tent' was situated about 50 metres from the cave which was where we spent the night and could operate all three cameras remotely.

 

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the entrance!

the entrance!

the main 'room'!

the main 'room'!