Saturday, December 23, 2017

BBC on Location

In late November, Emily and I got an email from Professor Holekamp about some BBC producers who were interested in working with the Michigan State University Mara Hyena Project. They wanted to film our hyenas for a new program called First Year on Earth. This series will follow animals through their first year on earth (self-explanatory title). A flurry of emails later, they arranged to come stay at the nearby Serena Lodge in mid December.

Vianet, Mark, Dominic, Sammy, and Johnny

Johnny (sound guy), Mark (camera guy), Dominic (producer), Vianet (camera guy/host), and Sammy (driver extraordinaire) arrived at the lodge on December 12. We showed them the North clan den, which is currently experiencing a huge cub boom. It is important to the BBC to have accurate and detailed information about the animals they are filming, so we were asked about lineages, behavior, and biology. 
Emily answering some questions about hyena behavior

The hyenas did us proud, and after a couple days they adjusted to having a new car at the den and behaved like their normal wonderful selves. The film crew got great footage of the moms and cubs, and even saw a carcass session and elephant-hyena interactions. 

Vianet filming the North clan
The crew left on Wednesday, and we are sad to see them go. They will be back in March/April and again in August to follow up with the clan.

First Year on Earth will be premiering in early 2019. Stay tuned for more details.

Michigan State University | College of Natural Science