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Spy in the Wild – BBC1

Puffins Spy in the Wild
(Image credit: BBC/John Downer Productions)

In the last of BBC1’s Spy in the Wild nature series, we travel to the polar regions and meet the biggest spy creature yet

The spy cams head to the frozen North and South to capture some remarkable behaviour in the last of this series of BBC1’s Spy in the Wild.

Hovering above 200,000 king penguins is spy albatross, filming the parent penguins as they leave their chicks for three months to go hunting in the Southern Ocean.

While they were away, their beach has been taken over by some grumpy new neighbours – elephant seals have arrived ready for the breeding season.

In the Arctic, spy walrus joins a family of Atlantic walrus, while spy polar bear follows a huge bear as he hunts for a seal on the ice.

Spy puffin joins the flock on an island off Norway (pictured top), as young guillemot chicks take a leap of faith off a cliff on the island of Svalbard.

And there’s amazing footage of a huddle of emperor penguins in Antarctica and of a pack of wolves hunting a huge musk ox on Ellesmere Island near the North Pole.

Elephant seal Spy in the Wild

Elephant seals have invaded the penguins' beach on South Georgia, as we see in the last Spy in the Wild on BBC1

To capture footage of the giant male elephant seals battling it out, the film crew used a spy elephant seal, reveals creative director John Downer.

But constructing this giant beast posed the production crew a few technical problems.

‘We thought, “How do we make an elephant seal?”’ says John.

‘It ended up being inflatable, but we knew if another elephant seal hit it, it might fly up in the air!

‘So it was filled with water.’

The seal cam is soon in the thick of the action as two four-tonne bulls face off.

It is then punctured by a rival and, leaking water, sinks to the ground.

‘The seal cam is probably the biggest spy creature we’ve had,’ adds John.

‘It’s about 10ft high when it rears up!’

For full listings, see our TV Guide.

TV Times rating: ****