Miracles of Nature Filmed in Redcliffe Caves

Miracles of Nature

Richard Hammond's Miracles of Nature This new three-part series for BBC One follows Richard Hammond as he investigates the extraordinary super-powers of the animal kingdom and finds out how a multitude of amazing creatures are inspiring inventions at the very forefront of science. From South Africa to South America, Richard will travel the far reaches of the world to get up close and personal with both the tame and the wild and their remarkable abilities; from paragliding with Cape vultures to witnessing first-hand a pioneering operation on a giraffe. Along the way he’ll devise entertaining scientific experiments which will in turn explain the extraordinary workings of each of these phenomenal creatures’ specific capabilities.


Photographs : Egyptian Fruit Bats in Redcliffe Caves - Alan Gray

Episode 2 - Super-Senses

Richard Hammond continues his exploration of weird and wonderful animal abilities by focusing on super-senses, and discovers how those same animal senses have inspired some unlikely human inventions. Richard gets buried in a Californian gold mine, attempts to talk to a rattlesnake by telephone, and is taken for a ride by a monster truck that drives itself. Along the way, he encounters elephants who can talk to each other through solid rock; seals who use their whiskers to sense the shape, size, speed and direction of an object that passed over thirty seconds earlier; and a blind cyclist who relies on fruit bats to get him safely down a twisting mountain bike trail.

Link - You Tube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn5a89SpDws

Filming Overview:

The set up day (Wednesday 14th March) will involve dressing the caves with drapes, netting and lighting. Crowd barriers and stands will be used to hold up netting and drapes. Ropes will be suspended from the ceiling in an obstacle course arrangement for bats to fly through. Anything attached to the walls of the caves will be adhered using gaffer tapes or builder’s expanding foam, which removes easily from rock leaving no trace.

On the filming days (Thursday 15th and Friday 16th March) 4-6 live Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) will be brought into the caves for filming. On Thursday the bats will be provided by Danny Reynolds of Exmoor Zoo. On Friday the bats will be provided by Chris Kibbey of Cotswolds Wildlife Park. The bats will be accompanied by either these keepers or by another experienced member of their staff. Bat expert Dr. Dean Waters will also be on hand all day Thursday and Friday morning to help out with handling the bats and with the layout of the cave set up.

The bats will be brought into the draped and netted off corridor near the entrance of the caves and flown within this area through the rope obstacle course. Two roosting spots of netting at either end of the cave corridor will provide them a place to hang on between flights.

The bats will only be handled by their keepers and by the presenter Richard Hammond. When Richard handles the bats he’ll be instructed how to do so safely by the keepers. Leather gloves will be worn to avoid bites whilst handling. The bats are captive bred and certified rabies-free.
Richard Hammond will interview Dr. Dean Waters and Professor Brian Hoyle inside the caves. Filming will be carried out using an infra-red camera and HD Ari camera on Thursday 14th March.

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