I thought I was fed up with animal programmes. I have watched them until I felt saturated with them. But it (Sunday night, 8-pm BBC1) has been fascinating, mainly I think because it concentrated on the lives of one particular animal. First the Chimpanzee, then the Penguin and this week the Lion.
The last two programmes - penguins and lions- have attracted controversy in that in both programmes the team doing the filming (a long job during which the team get close to the animals concerned both in distance and in feelings) have assisted the animals in their survival. In the case of the penguins, a group of parents and babies had managed to get themselves trapped down a ravine and it was impossible for them to get out. One by one they were dying, especially the young who were very vulnerable. The members of the team were visibly moved and ended up digging a ramp for them to escape, which they did.
In the case of the lions, the Pride was much diminished and in danger of completely dying out.
People in the Masai Mara were grazing their cattle in the area and the lions were hell bent on an easy catch. But the Masai had put down poisoned meat which the cubs ate. This time the film crew called in the vets to treat the cubs.
Were they wrong to do this? It is certainly open to question. But to see these tough men, often filming in awful conditions, in tears over the fate of their 'stars ' was actually quite moving. I really don't know which side I come down on. What is your opinion?