By staff writers
March 25, 2008 01:00pm
ELEPHANTS fitted with high definition video cameras have been used to capture up-close footage of the life of tigers in a world-first.
UK documentary-maker John Downer replaced traditional cameramen with four elephants that had cameras attached to their trunks and tusks.
He describes the result on his website as “the most intimate portrayal of tigers ever captured”.
View a trailer for the new documentary here
“Using these Tuskcams and Trunkcams the elephants can film the tigers wherever they go, even on the move,” he said.
While the documentary, Tiger: Spy in the Jungle, focusses on the lives of tigers living in an Indian jungle, other animals make cameo appearances ? including a group of monkeys so curious about the equipment attached to the elephants they reportedly began tapping on the camera lenses.
Footage of leopards, a sloth bear and jackals was also captured.
“(The documentary) also provides a unique insight into how the relationship with other jungle animals changes as (tigers) mature,” Mr Downer said.
He told the Daily Mail newspaper that he came up with the “Trunkcam” idea after he noticed how carefully elephants carried firewood to a camp.
“Elephants do not see tigers as a threat, and tigers are comfortable with elephants. So we had the perfect team,” he said.
“Elephants are natural inhabitants of the reserve, so the tigers aren’t fazed at all by them. Eventually, they realise that we humans are no risk either.
“So we became, effectively, invisible – filming one of the world’s most beautiful creatures in a way no one has ever done before.”
The documentary will be shown on TV by the BBC.
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