London - The BBC's popular Frozen Planet series promises to show viewers Arctic animals in their snowy, frozen habitats, but the broadcaster conceded on Monday that recent scenes of a polar bear with her cubs were actually shot in a European zoo, not the wild, as had been implied in the programme.
The broadcaster insisted that it had not misled audiences or tricked them into thinking that the scenes showing a female polar bear tenderly nursing her newborn cubs in an icy den in the dead of winter were filmed in the wild.
Its response came after The Daily Mirror accused it of "faking" the footage. The paper quoted lawmaker John Whittingdale, who heads the House of Commons culture committee, as saying the BBC should have been clearer about the origin of the shots.Controlled conditions
The BBC statement said most of the footage for the Frozen Planet series was filmed in the wild but that some sequences, including those of the polar bear giving birth, had to be filmed in controlled conditions.
It said: "We felt that the birthing process was a pivotal part of the story, which had to be told. It would be quite impossible for our cameras to film inside a den in the wild without disturbing the female. For this reason the polar bear den sequence was filmed in controlled conditions."
The BBC said presenter David Attenborough's narration was carefully worded so that it did not mislead audiences.
In the episode, broadcast on November 23 , the camera follows a female polar bear in the Arctic as Attenborough, long known for his nature programmes, comments: "She starts to dig a shallow nest... once the snow here is deep enough, she'll dig down to make a den. She'll then lie waiting for her cubs to be born as winter sets in."
He then says: "On these side slopes beneath the snow, new lives are beginning."
Footage of the newborn cubs filmed at the animal park is then screened, but Attenborough does not say in the programme that the mother and cubs were in fact in a manmade den in an animal park.
The BBC said it had made it clear the footage was from a zoo in an interview with producer Kathryn Jeffs that was posted on the broadcaster's website a few weeks before the programme aired.
In the video, Jeffs says there was no way to film a polar bear giving birth in the wild.
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
Saturday Night Live is giving its on-screen diversity another boost. NBC says the comic institution is adding Leslie Jones to its cast. Read More »
Argentina's ambassador to Britain has demanded an apology from the BBC over an ill-fated trip by car show Top Gear to the country. Read More »
New music video!
Great gig pics!
Watch it here!
See the line-up!
GautengCozens Recruitment Group (HEAD OFFICE)R100 - R170 Per Hour
Western CapeCozens Recruitment Group ( Western Cape)R20 000 - R25 000 Per Month
GautengCozens Recruitment Group (Sandton)
TownhousesR 680 000
TownhousesR 929 000
HousesR 2 600 000