Bush Capital | The day the BBC called

The natural wonders of the world were revealed to a young mind growing up in the bush capital through the lens of the BBC.

The dulcet tones of David Attenborough resonated through our family living room, weaving an enthralling narrative.

Nature simply came alive. The intricacies of predator prey relationships, the courting behaviour of exotic critters, the ecological web of life, all beautifully captured and portrayed on our TV screens. It was compelling viewing.

The seed of a future career was firmly planted and nurtured with time and passion. I have a lot to thank Sir David for. To do what I do now is indeed a privilege.

So imagine my astonishment the day the BBC called. On the other side of the world, executive producers were exploring possibilities and scoping opportunities to film nature in our backyard and take the bush capital to the world.

CAUGHT: The BBC came to the ACT to capture a dingo chasing down a kangaroo.

CAUGHT: The BBC came to the ACT to capture a dingo chasing down a kangaroo.

With a keen eye for natural systems, the BBC wanted to capture a sequence never witnessed by a global audience. A predator-prey relationship: a dingo and a kangaroo. As an apex predator, the native dog plays a critical role checking the booming population of eastern grey kangaroos. As conservation custodians, the Parks and Conservation Service has nurtured this relationship.

Deep within the heart of Namadgi National Park, nature functions as intended. Wild dogs prey on kangaroos. Acutely aware of farming enterprises, we work with our rural neighbours on park borders to control and reduce the likelihood of dogs attacking livestock. This cooperation works.

The right balance has been stuck. It's a success story the BBC wanted to tell.

Calling the majestic Gudgenby Valley home, for eight weeks a film crew pitted their collective skills against that of a supreme hunter. As wild dingoes staked their prey, the BBC stalked the dogs of Namadgi. Rising and setting with the sun, the crew soon learnt that this was no walk in the park. There was a reason a hunt sequence had never been filmed. Wild dogs are elusive.

With insights gleaned from local rangers, a secluded den was found. A cunning, protective mother stood guard. Paying homage to her tenacity, her adventures, she was nicknamed BBC. After all, she had something in common with them; she too was at the top of her game. She was a consummate professional.

The central character of a blockbuster documentary took centre stage.

With a worldwide audience bearing witness, the incredibly exploits of BBC the dog have been captured.

To experience this unique insight visit https://www.bbcearth.com/sevenworldsoneplanet/

  • Brett McNamara is with ACT Parks and Conservation Service.

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