Bear Family and Me – spoiler light

Bear FamilyA Bear Family and Me
First aired on BBC2
Episode 1 21:00 3 Jan 2011
Episode 2 21:00 4 Jan 2011
Episode 3 21:00 5 Jan 2011

Presented by Gordon Buchanan
Producer Ted Oakes

I saw this series when it was first broadcast in 2011, having been filmed in 2010. Since then there have been 3 sequels and I’ve reviews all of those. I wasn’t running this Blog at the time so I’m adding this review to complete the set.

You can read my reviews of the other series and as of writing the links to iPlayer should still be working (in the UK Only) A Polar Bear Family and Me, Snow Wolf Family and Me, Gorilla Family and Me.

These programs aren’t pure Natural History, they don’t claim to be. What they mainly are is a way to translate these large mammals lives in to a way the viewer can empathise. Thus increasing awareness and understanding – and hopefully conservation.

There are spoilers below, the links for each episode are working at time of writing.

These are American Black Bears, a species which predominantly eats foliage, berries, nuts and other plant material, They supplement this diet with insects, including larvae. Bees and honey are favourites. In some areas they will eat fish and small animals – only if food is scarce are they likely to hunt anything large. Continue reading

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Gorilla Family and me – Episode Two

MpungweGorilla Family and Me
First aired on BBC2 21:00 Sunday 27th December 2015.

Presented by Gordon Buchanan
Filmed & Directed by David Johnson

Producer David Johnson
Assistant Producer Patrick Evans
Executive Producer Ted Oakes
Commissioning Editor for BBC Lucinda Axelsson

Episode one aired on BBC2 21:00 Monday 21st December 2015

Concluding this two part series about Grauer’s Gorillas in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Grauer’s Gorillas are also known as Eastern Lowland Gorillas and are closely related to Mountain Gorillas. They have been far less extensively studied than their famous relatives.

There are a few spoilers below so if you haven’t seen the episode you might want to do so, you can see it on iPlayer, that link will only work if you live within the UK. Continue reading

Gorilla Family and Me – Episode One

MarhaleGorilla Family and Me
First aired on BBC2 21:00 21st December 2015

Presented by Gordon Buchanan
Filmed & Directed by David Johnson

Producer David Johnson
Assistant Producer Patrick Evans
Executive Producer Ted Oakes
Commissioning Editor for BBC Lucinda Axelsson

Episode two aired on BBC2 21:00 Sunday 27th December 2015.

I first heard of Gordon Buchanan as a Wildlife Cameraman. In 2011 I saw his three part series A Bear Family and Me that saw him filming closely with American Black Bears. That series will be repeated on BBC2 on Monday to Wednesday  28th to 30th December 2015.

I wasn’t writing this Blog in those days. However I have reviewed the subsequent series A Polar Bear Family and Me and Snow Wolf Family and Me.

Line-upThe full set of series are being shown so you can easily catch up.

My reviews include links to the shows on iPlayer but some links won’t work at present, I’ll update then once the shows have been repeated.

I don’think these links won’t work outside the United Kingdom.

This series shows Gordon getting as close as her can to a family of Grauer’s Gorillas, also known as eastern Lowland Gorillas. These gorillas live in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park at their invitation, in the hope of increasing tourism.

If you haven’t seen it I suggest you watch before you read the review – it is available on iPlayer. Though there are no major Spoilers in my review though. All images are from the BBC Website and are used with assumed fair use for review purposes only. Continue reading

Gorilla Family and Me – 2 Episodes starts 21st December 2015 on BBC1

gorillas meGorilla Family and Me
Episode 1 Monday 21st December 2015
Episode 2 Sunday 27th December 2015

Presenter: Gordon Buchanan
Series Producer: David Johnson

I’ve seen all of the earlier related series and reviewed two of them.

The latest series focuses on one of our closest relatives, the Gorilla. In this case Grauer’s Gorilla, also known as the Eastern Lowland Gorilla, a Subspecies of the more famous Mountain Gorilla.

The first Episode airs on Monday 21st of December. The season also offers a chance to catch up with the earlier series.

The Bear Family & Me, The Polar Bear Family & Me and Snow Wolf Family & Me will air on BBC2 from 21st December 2015 to 1st January 2016. A full schedule is below. Continue reading

Beavers in Scotland under threat

Beavers TaysideI heard about this via Ted Oakes on Twitter earlier today. Ted is a BBC Producer of Wildlife programs such as Gordon Buchanan’s popular ‘Family & Me‘ series.

There are two areas in Scotland where Beavers are making a comeback, one where they were re-introduced and another where escaped domestic Beavers have established themselves.

The image above is from the Scottish Wild Beavers Group’s website.

The problem facing the Scottish Beavers is Farmers, many of whom are now apparently shooting Beavers while their legal status is awaiting confirmation. In England the small colony found on the River Otter in Devon have a slightly clearer situation. Continue reading

Snow Wolf Family and Me – part two

Snow wolf2Snow Wolf Family and Me episode 2
First Aired on BBC2 21:00 30th December 2014

Presenter Gordon Buchanan
Series Producer Ted Oakes
Producer Anwar Mamon
Director Anwar Mamon
Assistant Producer Patrick Evans

Due to the nature of this program this episode obviously contains spoilers of the first episode so if you haven’t watched it I would suggest you do so before reading further. There is a link to the earlier episode in my comments on Episode One. There is a link to Episode 2 below, my comments come after that link, click on the picture with Gordon & a wolf in silhouette to go to BBC iPlayer, I’m sorry but this will only work if you are in UK or Ireland.

Ellesmere Island, Canada, is an uninhabited island where the Wolves have had no contact with humans. The landscape is wild to say the least and Winter lasts four months of night. A pack of Wolves need to feed themselves during the light months to survive the harsh winter.

The pack under study have four adults, two yearlings and three pups. The alpha pair Romulus led the other four older Wolves hunting at least twice a day to feed the pups. At the end of the last episode when the team had to leave the pack had been gone from the den for twelve hours leaving the pups alone. Continue reading

Snow Wolf Family and Me – part one

Snow wolfSnow Wolf Family and Me episode 1
Produced by BBC
First Aired on BBC2 21:00 29th December 2014

Presenter Gordon Buchanan
Series Producer Ted Oakes
Producer Anwar Mamon
Director Anwar Mamon
Assistant Producer Patrick Evans

Gordon Buchanan traveled to Ellesmere Island in Canada to find a pack of Wolves that have never encountered Humans. He knew there was a pack in the area as another scientist had observed their presence.

Gordon has previously made similar programs about American Black Bears and Polar Bears. I enjoyed both those programs. I still keep up to date with the American Bear project, though sadly nothing has been heard of our Polar Bear family since just after the program aired.

It is a harsh environment, so far North the sun sets in October and doesn’t rise again for four months. Similarly when Spring comes Summer is in complete daylight. It gets to minus 50 in winter and the Wolves are adapted for this land with their thick white fur.

There are a few spoilers in my comments below, not too strong but if you haven’t watched the show yet I’d encourage you to watch by clicking on the picture below. My comments are not all in the same sequence as the show. Continue reading