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Dynasties: David Attenborough 'would have stepped up to rescue penguins too', BBC producer says

'It's such an unusual circumstance to do this... but I think in this situation there were so many factors'

Clarisse Loughrey
Tuesday 20 November 2018 10:07
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A mother levers her way out of a gully while carrying her precious chick, using her beak, like an ice-pick
A mother levers her way out of a gully while carrying her precious chick, using her beak, like an ice-pick

Sir David Attenborough would also have intervened and rescued the penguins at the centre of Sunday's episode of Dynasties, the show's executive producer says.

The latest instalment of the nature documentary series, focusing on family groups, examined the trials of the Emperor penguin, and saw a group of mothers and their chicks become trapped in an icy ravine, unable to climb up its slippery walls. The show's behind-the-scenes segment revealed the crew made the decision to carve a shallow ramp into the ice, offering a way out for the creatures.

An executive producer for the series now says that host David Attenborough agrees with the intervention. Mike Gunton told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I was speaking to David about it yesterday and he said he would have done the same too."

"It's such an unusual circumstance to do this," he added, "and there are lots of situations where you couldn't, and shouldn't and wouldn't - but I think in this situation there were so many factors."

"There were no animals going to suffer by intervening. It wasn't dangerous. You weren't touching the animals and it was just felt by doing this... they had the opportunity to not have to keep slipping down the slope."

Gunton said, in the vast majority of instances, it is not appropriate for a crew to intervene, including in the case of David the chimpanzee, who was left for dead after an attack by two other males.

After the events of the series, it was revealed that he had been found beaten to death, likely by members of his own troop.

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