Gordon Buchanan on The Polar Bear Family and Me

“The aim wasn’t to have this terrifying encounter but to see these animals up close doing what they naturally do"

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Gordon Buchanan on The Polar Bear Family and Me
Written By
Terry Payne

Wildlife film-maker Gordon Buchanan’s perspex filming pod is being well and truly shaken – and he’s certainly stirred. He knows the portable hide – dubbed an ice cube – is bullet proof, but bear proof? “If I had come a cropper it would have looked ridiculously reckless, but I wouldn’t have got into it without being absolutely confident that a polar bear couldn’t also get in.”

Buchanan and his team used the pod to record polar bears at the closest of quarters for his new three-part series,  filmed in the Norweigian Arctic last summer.. This particular encounter with a curious and hungry female lasted a decidedly nervy 40 minutes.

“The aim wasn’t to have this terrifying encounter but to see these animals up close doing what they naturally do. This female could smell me inside and decided to investigate. She was pushing it very hard and at one stage came very close to pushing it over. That would have been a problem because on the underside there was just a bit of plywood. It was very disconcerting!”

The Polar Bear Family and Me

polar bear

polar bear

polar bear

polar bear

The Polar Bear Family and Me is on tonight, Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30pm on BBC2

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