11 of the best Christmas sandwiches across Ireland
11 of the best Christmas sandwiches across Ireland

Sarah Finnan

‘I was disgusted… they could have helped’: Onlookers filmed Rachel McElroy in a Cork club as she was being sexually assaulted
‘I was disgusted… they could have helped’: Onlookers filmed Rachel McElroy in a Cork club...

Megan Burns

A fashion editor’s guide to wearing sequins
A fashion editor’s guide to wearing sequins

Marie Kelly

Shop Irish this Christmas: Meet the Claire Graham of The Old Mill Stores in West Cork
Shop Irish this Christmas: Meet the Claire Graham of The Old Mill Stores in West...

Lauren Heskin

Sparkly, dangly earrings to dress up your party season wardrobe
Sparkly, dangly earrings to dress up your party season wardrobe

Holly O'Neill

This new pre-loved fashion website is going to completely change the way you shop for vintage
This new pre-loved fashion website is going to completely change the way you shop for...

Sarah Finnan

Shop Irish this Christmas: Meet the shopkeepers of Hen’s Teeth in Dublin
Shop Irish this Christmas: Meet the shopkeepers of Hen’s Teeth in Dublin

Lauren Heskin

How do you create a perfume for Ireland’s most loved painting?
How do you create a perfume for Ireland’s most loved painting?

Holly O'Neill

THE CAREER COACH: Seminar 3 Your Boundaries
THE CAREER COACH: Seminar 3 Your Boundaries

IMAGE

The top baby names of 2021 have been revealed and there are a few surprising additions
The top baby names of 2021 have been revealed and there are a few surprising...

Sarah Finnan

Image / Editorial

BBC nature team defends decision to break protocol to save mother and baby penguins


By Jennifer McShane
21st Nov 2018
BBC nature team defends decision to break protocol to save mother and baby penguins

A BBC nature documentary team has defended their decision to build a ramp to help save a group of penguins. Doing so breached a long-held principle to “observe but not intervene” but the film crew on David Attenborough’s latest BBC series made a decision to step in and help the mother and baby penguins.

According to The Guardian, the penguins at the centre of Sunday’s episode of Dynasties had either blown or tumbled into a gully in a storm and were unable to get out.

Fearing for the lives of the penguins and in what BBC Earth described as an “unprecedented move”, the crew dug a shallow ramp so some of the penguins would be able to use it to save themselves.

And to the delight of the crew, that’s exactly what happened.

Wildlife cameraman Doug Allan explained he felt the intervention was justified on the basis that it was not a case of prey being hunted by a predator.

“If [for example] you’re watching a predator and prey relationship, the key thing is your presence must not influence the outcome,” Allan said.

“Interfering or not is a decision based on what you’re seeing at the time. To interfere on a predation event is definitely wrong but, in this situation, they didn’t spook the penguins. All they did was create an escape route for them,” he said.

“I certainly think, in that case, what they did was entirely justifiable and entirely understandable. I would have done the same thing in their situation.”

Series director Will Lawson, camera operator Lindsay McCrae and assistant Stefan Christmann explained why they felt it was okay to make an exception.

“We opted to intervene passively. Once we’d dug that little ramp, which took very little time, we left it to the birds. We were elated when they decided to use it. There’s no rule book in those situations. You can only respond to the facts that are right there in front of you,” Lawson told LADbible.

As you can imagine, we only show a fraction of the real trauma and difficulty that the animals go through—it was a very hard thing to see. What was unique with this was that the only other animal there was us—nothing else would directly benefit from this. I’m sure some people will have an opinion in the other direction but in my heart of hearts, I think we made the right decision.