sustainability through science & innovation

A wet night, a platypus and a BBC film crew

10 Sep 2012

BBC Science contacted cesar earlier this year to see if the wildlife ecology team could assist in the production of a new geological history series. The BBC producers wanted intimate footage of a platypus as an example of Australia’s unique fauna, due to its long term geographical isolation during the breakup of the continents. After many late night discussions with BBC staff in London, it was arranged for a crew from the BBC to accompany cesar’s senior Wildlife Ecologist, Josh Griffiths, on a platypus survey in Australia.

On what turned out to be one of the wettest nights for some time, Josh took the BBC film crew to the beautiful Yarra Ranges near Warburton late August 2012 in search of a platypus. In between regular checks of the nets, the film crew spent hours perfecting scenic shots, constantly battling the persistent rain. Meanwhile, Josh had his moment in the spotlight. He was interviewed by the BBC presenter about the work of a platypus biologist, interesting facets of platypus ecology and biology, and finished with some staged footage wandering through the forest. It was a very different experience for Josh - he came to appreciate all the work that goes in behind the scenes of making such a documentary.

At around 2am, a platypus finally found itself in one of the nets, delighting the BBC crew with their first live experience with a platypus in the wild. Although everyone was excited, professionalism took over and some quick footage was taken while Josh pointed out the unique features that make the platypus the most unusual creature on the planet. The platypus was then quickly returned to the water where he quietly swam off, oblivious to the fact he is soon to become an international superstar.

The BBC footage is scheduled to air in autumn 2013 as part of a new geological series.

For more information about cesar's involvement with platypus and other wildlife ecology services please contact us.