Friday, 14 March 2014

Animal victims of nature documentary crews recall their experiences

Matthew (Desert Monitor Lizard)

I was sunning myself near a big pile of rocks when a sandy-haired man-child, dressed in khaki shorts, grabbed me. I tried to bite him but he held me firmly in his grip. He angled my head towards the camera as if he was filming me for a kidnap ransom video!

All the time this was happening he kept saying: “You're alright mate. You're alright mate.”

In fact I was far alright. My wife, Angela, had been eaten by a Booted Eagle the previous day and I was still getting over the shock.

After the man put me down I ran away and hid under a boulder, where I have remained ever since.

I will come out when I have evolved venom glands.

Jennifer (Great Blue Heron)

After I left university in 1972, I lived at London Zoo for a while. The late children's television presenter, Johnny Morris, would often drop by, dressed as a zoo keeper from the 1920s. He would stand outside the enclosures of his favourite animals and enact pretend conversations between him and us, with him doing both of the voices since none of us couldn't speak English. In most cases his impressions played heavily upon stereotypes and were extremely insulting.

Because I am a heron, and therefore predisposed towards perching beside bodies of water for long periods of time, Morris developed a routine in which he would imply that I had accidentally dropped my house keys into my pond and was searching for them like an idiot.

He deliberately portrayed me as a Canadian hick. In fact I was born in UK. As I previously mentioned, I am also highly educated and have a degree in Economics from the LSE. I was in the same year as Barbara Morris and took some of the same classes that she did. You probably haven't heard of her but she is very clever.

Bridget Mason (Bengal Tiger)

As one of the few remaining wild tigers, I am constantly being trailed by the wildlife paparazzi. They want to know everything about me: How many wild pigs I've eaten; the relationship between me and a male Bengel Tiger called Colin who occupies an adjacent territory, and so on. They even go through my stools!

I don't mind when the focus is on me. When they start following my cubs around it's a different story: The other day, one of my three sons was nearly eaten by a crocodile! It was only through the timely intervention of my line-manger at the call centre (a Kingfisher called Claire) that a disaster was averted. You read about these things happening to other tiger families but you never imagine that they'll happen to you.

The camera crew who filmed the incident later informed me in a letter that they didn't want to intervene, as they were there in an observational capacity and couldn't be seen as interfering with nature.

I take this as meaning that they wont get involved when I indulge my natural instinct to tear open their director's soft belly and feast upon his warm entrails.

On an unrelated matter, I recently discovered that I have been 'adopted' by hundreds of different people around the globe under a 'save the tiger' program. I would like state for the record:

  • I have no direct involvement in this project.
  • My name is not Mindy.
  • That photo isn't me. If you look at the date you can see that it was taken in 1991, several years before I was reincarnated as a tiger.
  • I didn't write any of those letters. That is not my paw-print at the bottom. If I were to write you a letter I would sign it using my proper signature.
  • I am not on Twitter or any other social media platform.

Ben (Wright Whale)

The newest addition to our pod is a robotic submersible device that is supposed to resemble a whale. Some of us had taken to calling it the 'Gayle' until we were told off by Karl for being intolerant.

It greets us with pre-recordings of whale song, which I suppose its designers imagine are opening pleasantries. In fact they are recordings of Graham complaining about the krill-to-saltwater ratio in the North Atlantic, and asking where he can score some methamphetamine. It's actually quite poignant as Graham died last month from a heroin overdose.

Last week me and Nigel wrote 'Fuck Poseidon!' on the sub. I also wrote 'Clean me' in the algae on its underside.

Whenever it's around, my friends and I make a point of singing offensive whale punk songs, which are full of swearing and anti-establishment sentiment! When the researchers at National Geographic play these recordings back and get their heads around what we're saying, it's going to totally blow their minds wide open!

Julian (Meerkat)

“That camera/rock that the BBC put outside our burrow: I pissed on it. It's my rock now and I'll bite any fucker who tries to take it away.”

Simon (Lowland Gorilla)

That bastard David Attenborough sat down no less then ten feet away from where I am now and started talking about me like he knows me. You don't know me Attenborough. Fuck You.

Harriet Bowden-Steward (Lioness)

I was lying in the shade of a baobab tree, swishing my tail at some flies, when my my partner mounted me and engaged in 20 seconds of uninspired humping before wandering off to growl at a hyena. While this was happening, no less than three camera crews were filming from the back of those stupid open-top safari jeeps.

I don't come into your over-priced, 2-bedroom terrace in Clapham and gawp, while you and your partner attempt to rekindle the cold ashes of your decade old relationship. Show me the same respect bitches!

I am woman and also a lion. Hear me roar!

Keith Tyler (Barnacle Goose)

I would like to thank the presenters of Springwatch for broadcasting to the nation the fact that my wife Claire and I have recently flown north on our annual migration. I expect we will return next year to find our nest has been burgled. Is this what I pay my TV licence fee for?

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