Five truly remarkable moments captured on film in Planet Earth II

Film crews on the BBC series used the latest technology to photograph seldom seen behaviours of animals in the wild

The baby iguanas and the racer snakes

Six weeks ago, barely anyone had heard of sea-faring iguanas. Since then, many tens of millions of people worldwide have watched and cheered as the hatchling iguanas scrambled to escape the snakes – and just a few of them made it.

A pygmy three-toed sloth swims to find a mate on a nearby island
A pygmy three-toed sloth swims to find a mate on a nearby island. Photograph: BBC

The swimming sloth

On a tiny island off Panama, a male pygmy three-toed sloth can hear the call of a female – the problem is, she’s on another island. There’s nothing for it but to swim. Slowly.

Planet Earth II film crews used camera traps to capture images of a snow leopard.
Planet Earth II film crews used camera traps to capture images of a snow leopard. Photograph: David Willis/BBC

Snow leopards

The producers called it “pee-mail” – the messages rarely seen snow leopards leave for each other by spraying urine on particular rocks. Without the latest camera-trap technology, these scenes would never have been recorded.

A young Nubian Ibex prepares to head down a steep cliff in search of water far below.
A young Nubian Ibex prepares to head down a steep cliff in search of water far below. Photograph: BBC

The fox and the ibex

Young ibex in the Arabian peninsula have to clamber down terrifyingly steep slopes to reach water. But a fox is waiting, so there’s no time to take it slowly.

Night vision technology was used to photograph a leopard hunting domestic pigs in Mumbai.
Night vision technology was used to photograph a leopard hunting domestic pigs in Mumbai. Photograph: BBC

The urban leopard hunt

For the forthcoming final episode on cities, the filmmakers managed to capture a hunt by the most densely concentrated population of leopards in the world – in Mumbai. The local teenagers seem unbothered, the domestic pigs less so.

Contributor

Esther Addley

The GuardianTramp

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