Monday, June 24, 2024

New season of ‘Planet Earth’ features stories of humpbacks around Vancouver Island


The highly anticipated, David Attenborough narrated Planet Earth III is being released weekly and one of the new edition’s episodes features wildlife footage which was shot just off Vancouver Island. 

This newest installation of the iconic nature series focuses on how wildlife around the globe have been adapting and cohabitating in a world increasingly dominated by humans. 

The whales were filmed just off Telegraph Cove on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. 

The Telegraph Cove humpbacks can be seen on BBC’s Planet Earth III, episode seven which is titled “Humans” as it follows how closely intertwined we are with the animals around us. 

This episode aired for the first time on Sunday, December 3rd. 

According to the show’s producers, the sea mammals are a bit of an enigma to scientists as they have been increasing in numbers contrary to the overfished areas in which they dwell. 

The Planet Earth III film crews specifically wanted to capture these humpback whales engaging in “trap-feeding.”

This occurs when there is a low density of fish in the water and diving birds are hunting the school of fish.

A whale then would open its mouth right at the surface and the fish race into its mouth to avoid the birds and seek shelter. The whale then closes its mouth and gets an easy meal without spending too much energy.

“Spending six weeks filming these magnificent creatures I could see that they are all very distinct individuals with different behaviour patterns,” Fredi Devas, Producer and Director 

“One whale would often be seen rolling around at the surface of the water singing. He preferred to eat krill at night, and sing during the day, whereas most others focused on eating herring during the day.”

“He was also particularly acrobatic, often the one seen breaching or slapping his pectoral fins on the water. Naturally, he became one of the crew’s absolute favourites,” Devas concluded.

According to BBC, it took six weeks of filming the whales to capture the behaviours they sought. 

It was worth the wait though, as in the last week of filming, they managed to capture the trap-feeding in full.

It was the first ever footage of multiple humpbacks trap-feeding. 

Here are the other animals you can see in this episode of Planet Earth III:

  • Greater one-horned rhinoceros – Nepal  
  • Long-tailed macaques – Uluwatu Temple, Bali  
  • Pavement ants – New York, USA 
  • Monocled cobras – West Bengal, India  
  • Tawny frogmouths – Melbourne, Australia 
  • Black bears – Lake Tahoe, USA 
  • African elephants – Kimana Sanctuary and surrounding areas, Kenya 
  • Desert locusts – Lodwar, Kenya 

In Canada, Planet Earth III can be streamed on Apple TV+.

Curtis Blandy

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