– Report by Dr. Bharti Raizada
Chicago, July 10, 2017:
National Geographic did a live broadcast called Earth Live, on July 9th, a day of full moon, from 7-9pm central time. It was first of this large-scale live telecast. They had their cinematographers on six continents, 17 countries, 12 time zones, and 25 locations, and used 58 very high tech cameras. Some were thermal cam, infrared cam, moonlight cam etc. These cameras were not disturbing the animals. In some instances, it was shown that cameraman was very near the animals but animals were not even aware of them.
The live telecast was from New York City, and the hosts were Jane Lynch and Phil Keoghan. The animal expert was Mr. Chris Packham. The executive producer for National Geographic was Michael J. Miller. Many people were working on many screens. This live telecast, from air, land, and underwater, was showing animals doing live activities, with no editing. The day of full moon brings ocean animals near land because of big tides, and more predator activity happens that day.
The live show was held through various cinema theaters. To encourage participation, the audience were provided free tickets for theater and also a $15 gift card per person for concessions.
The people got to watch thrilling and fascinating things about the animals. One cameraman, Bob Poole, was in Estonia with a hyena man who believed that feeding Hyena wards off evil spirits. The hyena man was giving food to 10-20 hyenas in night and was not scared. Hyenas were not attacking him. Bob was using a very high tech ultra lowlight camera with moonlight to capture it live for all of us to see.
- One person in Jodhpur, India was filming Langurs who were very actively moving around and eating fruits and peanut.
- A lion was shown in Massai Mara, Kenya by Sophie Darlington using thermal camera. He was running after prey but failed and then started walking back. Cheetahs and leopards were shown.
- One very small and light weight camera was tied to an eagle. It was flying over Oregon in USA and gave an eagle eye view of the area.
- One drone named Snot Bot was released over an ocean in Alaska and it had petridishes on top. It was flying very low over the surface of water with lot of humpback whales. Excreted water from whales was collected in petridishes and the drone landed back, with whale DNA collected in a non invasive way, in the researcher’s ship.
- One person had a device to measure the grip strength/bite force of a saltwater crocodile. The crocodile was shown with a remote camera. It looked so near to us.
- There was a live little red fox and a sloth in the telecast room.
- Weaver ants were shown. They were building their home by attaching leaves together with a glue like structure. They were communicating with each other by touching their antennas. It was real teamwork and their house was almost complete by the end of the show.
- Millions of bats were exiting from Bracken Cave in Texas, USA, and a predator bird was catching those in the sky.
- One whale was making a charming sound to attract the fishes.
- One cameraman, Andy Casagrande, was swimming with many bull sharks in Fiji, and he was not wearing any protection. He said that there is more danger in New York City than standing with sharks.
- There were macaque monkeys in Thailand who were using a stone tool to break small pieces of rock to take oyster out and eat. Lion cubs and ape child were suckling.
- A wolverine and ocelot were also shown.
Mr. Chris narrated interesting points about many animals and answered questions from the audience. Voting was taken during the show to know which animal people wanted to see.