More than 30 animatronic spy cameras disguised as animals secretly record animal behavior in the wild. These “spy creatures” reveal that animals show emotions and behavior similar to humans – a capacity to love, grieve, deceive, cooperate and invent.
The spy cams infiltrate the underground world of animal mischief, crime and retribution. Spy monkey is caught between crossfires as real monkeys fight over beach bar alcohol. Spy egret is also a waterhole victim when elephants throw mud everywhere.
Ecologist Chris Morgan travels to the jungles of Northern Sumatra to document the efforts to save its wild orangutan population, which is quickly dwindling due to deforestation. Morgan spends time with orphaned orangs at rehabilitation centers observing the process of teaching them the survival skills they’ll need to be released back into the wild. He also travels to a peat swamp forest known as Suaq Balimbing to work with a team of experienced researchers. Morgan is immersed in a unique social band of wild orangs that uses tools, shares food, forages together and creates their own distinct culture. Advanced cameras follow the orangs throughout the canopy to provide an intimate, clear picture of how these arboreal apes spend their days and nights and interact with one another.
In the frigid valleys of Japan’s Shiga Highlands, a troop of snow monkeys functions in a complex society of rank and privilege where each knows his and her place. Their leader is still new to the job and something of a solitary grouch. One innocent little monkey, unaware of his own low status, reaches out to this lonely leader and they form a rare and remarkable bond that alters both their lives. Changing seasons bring new babies, family disagreements and tragedies. Mating season brings competition for females as the days grow shorter and colder in the rush to winter. With their now confident leader to guide them and their families to shelter and care for them, these snow monkeys are ready to face the world.
This is the true story of a family of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys living in the highest forests in the world. Only recently discovered, snub-nosed monkeys are hauntingly beautiful primates, gentler than others of their kind. Elfin-like, they can seem both childlike and wise beyond their years. The family is led by a formidable fighter and his fighting force who guard a troop of 8-10 families. The survival of this unique monkey society, formed in response to the hardships of the Himalayas, depends on strong defensive strategies and the cooperation and interdependence of them all.
When it comes to the most important goals in the animal kingdom, learning how to survive and raising the next generation are at the top of the list. This may seem clear cut, but the lengths to which some animals go to achieve these objectives can often be downright devious. This three-part series reveals the modus operandi of some of nature’s greatest animal con artists as they outwit predators, line up their next meal and get the girl. To illustrate the point, we see a shady squirrel, a double-crossing cuttlefish, a conniving orchid mantis and a deceitful bird called a drongo use mimicry, disguise and trickery to get what they want.