In an attempt to capture the behavior of wild animals in as naturalistic and uninhibited a way as possible, a new BBC wildlife documentary series called Spy in the Wild uses realistic animatronic replicas to film the animals.
Called 'Spy Creatures' they feature hidden cameras that allow for the POV shots of the animals interacting with it. It lets the producers capture footage of intimate moments between the animals and learn how they function socially. The show covers all kinds of different animals—prairie dogs, tortoises, giraffes, and more—but a group of Langur monkeys had a particularly adorable response to the animatronic camera.
The robotic spy creature in this episode took the form of a baby langur monkey, which the group were only to happy to welcome into the fold. But things took a turn for the tragic when one of the monkeys got a bit too 'hands-on' and accidentally dropped the robotic intruder from a tree.
Once it hits the ground it lies motionless on the floor so naturally the monkeys think it's hurt itself and investigate, but after some closer inspection all of them agree it's died, and begin to grieve for it accordingly.
In scenes that will wrench your heart from your body, the monkeys are seen comforting one another, hugging and putting their arms around one each other, as they mourn the loss of what they believe is one of their own.
It's an astonishing reaction and it's just one scene in a series that features all manner of previously unseen and unique moments from various species. Scenes that shocked even the producers.
"We began to see that the cameras were not only recording, they were sometimes eliciting behaviour in a way that made you think." said John Downer the show's executive producer. "You were having that connection between the spy creature and the animal that you never get with any kind of filming, and so things would develop that you didn’t expect."
I'm not crying you're crying.
Check out the trailer for the series below.