Revealing The Secret Lives Of Big Cats - CATEGORY Report metro: TITLE

Unsurprisingly, given the close proximity to these fearsome predators, there were hairy moments during filming. 

Series producer Gavin Boyland recalls one particular shoot in Patagonia where the crew spent weeks camped out during two separate visits to capture for the first time pumas eating magellanic penguins as they come ashore to nest. 

One evening, he says, a crew member bumped into a puma at night with a penguin in its mouth - but didn’t have a camera at hand to film. On another occasion, a team were walking back to camp at night and realised they were being stalked by a puma 20m or so behind them. “They tried to change direction but it followed them for about 15 minutes,” he says.

“There is always an element of risk when filming cats but that is what it makes it so exciting. There is this predator, prey fascination.”

For Mike Gunton though, it is the smaller, lesser known cats that prove the objects of greatest fascination in the series. In particular, he cites the Pallas’s cat – which lives in the grasslands of Mongolia and hunts by freezing stock still and pretending to be a rock as it sneaks up on prey. 

The crew also filmed another little known member of the feline family and the smallest – the rusty-spotted cat. Eventually, they managed to film a young male in a remote rainforest reserve in Sri Lanka. 

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