Dr Leah Findlay has recently been working with the BBC on a great production called ‘Animals with Camera’s. In this ground breaking new series, wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan joins forces with a number of scientists to put cameras on animals. Together, they make extraordinary discoveries about the lives of some of the planet’s most fascinating species. Leah was lucky enough to be one of these scientists and with the help of the BBC, we put cameras onto wild baboons for the first time to help find out why these clever monkeys raid farmers’ crops. The PPP places collars onto baboons to help track the animals and find out where they are and what they are up to, and we do this with the help of a professional vet to ensure the animals don’t get harmed. We were amazed that the BBC could make a camera that could fit onto one of these collars, whilst maintaining BBC quality footage. After a little investigating of what they had around their necks, and a few enquiries from other individuals, the baboons were quite happy to wear these cameras and film their lives for us.
The cameras give remarkable insight into these shy baboons’ lives, showing intimate scenes of sunbathing and grooming. Crucially, the cameras also show that the baboons choose wild fruits over crops if they are available, and this is a great place to start with developing our mitigation. The series, consisting of three episodes, starts on Thurday 1st February 2018 at 8 pm on BBC one. Catch Leah and the baboons in the second episode on Thursday 8th February.