Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Animal Planet: Polar bears featured in 'Spy on the Ice'

Animal Planet photo captured by iceberg-cam.

In the animal kingdom, if one wants to get an intimate look into the lives of wildlife, one needs to go stealth and not many -- if anybody -- does it better than award-winning filmmaker John Downer.

He has brought tigers, leopards and monkeys, among other creatures, right into our living rooms with the same concept that Allen Funt used for his popular '60s TV show:

A hidden camera.

Really, Downer's "Spy" series is a "Candid Camera" of nature, and it's truly amazing what he and his wildlife television production company comes up with. Now, on the heels of "Elephants: Spy in the Herd" and "Tiger: Spy in the Jungle" on Animal Planet comes "Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice."

The episode is Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet.

What's remarkable is how Downer captured the touching and probably never-before-seen actions of polar bear mothers and their cubs in Arctic Norway.

He used a snow-cam (disguised as a clump of snow that can travel across land and ice via 4-wheel drive and tundra wheels), a blizzard-cam (a mobile unit powered by propellers that can travel up to 37 mph) and an iceberg-cam (a small iceberg equipped with an above and below-water camera that can maneuver through the water).

The polar bears did not shy away from these cameras, as you can see above. At times, it even seemed as if one bear was adjusting the camera angle. It's reality TV at its best.

The popular news show "60 Minutes" featured these cameras and Animal Planet's upcoming polar bear episode last Sunday night. If you've got the time, here is that well-worth-watching 13-minute segment:

"Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice" promises to be as revealing on Animal Planet.

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Skier falls off cliff and captures it on helmet cam
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