Frozen Planet fakery row: BBC filmed tender scene of mother polar bear with newborn cubs at Dutch ZOO
The BBC’s landmark wildlife documentary was four years in the making and took intrepid cameramen to the ends of the Earth to film.
But now it’s been revealed the method used to capture key scenes might send a chill down the spine of Frozen Planet viewers.
Instead of being filmed in a sub-zero natural habitat, the BBC has admitted a polar bear and her cubs that were the centrepiece of the show were caught on camera in a zoo.
On thin ice: Sir David Attenborough with an anaesthetised polar bear in Svalbard during episode seven of the hit show Frozen Planet
Preparing for the new arrivals: The fake nest being built in a German zoo, ahead of the birth of the polar bear cubs
Not as it seems: The ‘den’ in the wildlife park was constructed out of plaster and wood, built below the zoo’s polar bear enclosure. It was fitted with cameras shortly before the birth
The breathtaking footage was watched by more than eight million viewers. It showed a polar bear tending her newborn cubs but the snow was fake and real Arctic shots were mixed with zoo scenes.
The scene was filmed last Christmas in the comfort of a Dutch wildlife park enclosure made of plaster and wood.
Situated beneath the zoo’s polar bear enclosure, the den was fitted with cameras shortly before the cubs’ birth.
Documentary makers have been accused of misleading the audience into believing the footage was gathered by daring cameramen in the wilderness.
The filming of the moving scene is explained by producer Kathryn Jeffs in a hard to find clip on the programme’s website.