♪♪ [ Cheetah purring ] ♪♪ BUCHANAN: As a wildlife cameraman, I have traveled the world trying to capture life's most intimate and dramatic moments.
♪♪ But wouldn't it be incredible if we could see the world from an animal's point of view?
[ Cheetah purring ] Well, in this series, that is exactly what we're gonna do, with the help of the animals themselves.
They're gonna be the ones that are doing filming.
They're going to take us to places that a cameraman like me simply cannot go and reveal a side of their lives like we have never seen before.
♪♪ ♪♪ Working with scientists, we're going to design cameras small enough to take us into their hidden world.
[ Meerkat chattering ] Wow.
This is their footage... MELDRUM: Oh, yeah.
BUCHANAN: Oh, wow.
...their story, and we're going to see it through their eyes.
♪♪ [ Cheetah purring ] ♪♪ ♪♪ In this program, we'll see what our cameras can reveal about three of the world's most iconic species.
[ Animals chattering ] In the forests of central Africa, we'll climb with chimpanzees...
SWIFT: Good girl, Kimbang.
...and witness their secret treetop behavior.
BUCHANAN: I want to be able to climb like that.
In Argentina, we'll dive into the fascinating world of penguins... and uncover their extraordinary hunting techniques.
♪♪ [ Birds chirping ] ♪♪ My journey starts here, in South Africa.
Funny, 'cause as soon as I told people that I was coming here to film meerkats, everyone got excited.
My kids got excited, my wife got excited, random people in the shop got excited.
The Kalahari Desert is the best place to find these miniature mammals.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ For the last 25 years, scientists from Cambridge University have been studying meerkats' fascinating social lives... ♪♪ ...but they still know virtually nothing about what they get up to inside their burrow.
Our mission is to use mini cameras to reveal the extent of their underground world, where they sleep, how they navigate, but most importantly, we want to see newborn pups below ground.
MELDRUM: Grab a pew.
BUCHANAN: I think I might have brought the wrong lens.
MELDRUM: [ Laughs ] BUCHANAN: We're meeting a family of 21, led by a dominant female who's mother to the pups.
She wears a radio collar to help the scientists track the group's movements.
Project manager Laura Meldrum and her team weigh each member of the group daily as part of their study.
MELDRUM: This is our subordinate female, our eldest subordinate female, Eve.
BUCHANAN: And is she a good camera candidate?
MELDRUM: She is yeah, you can see she loves water and is also very receptive.
BUCHANAN: I think Eve, I could have got a little camera on you before you knew it.
Eve is the dominant female's eldest daughter.
She's ideally placed to film the pups.
We're also keen to get our cameras on a carefree teenager.
Look at you.
It's like a job interview.
What are your qualifications?
You're a meerkat.
Are you 9 months old?
BUCHANAN: No, no.
MELDRUM: This one's 6 months old.
BUCHANAN: Okay, get out.
MELDRUM: Next in the line, come on, yum yums.
BUCHANAN: Thanks for coming.
MELDRUM: 9 months.
We'll get back to you.
[ Meerkat calls ] [ Birds chirping ] With our meerkat camera crew selected, the pressure is on to put the finishing touches to the cameras.
♪♪ Chris Watts is an expert in designing miniature cameras.
WATTS: From the start it's just evolved like this.
WATTS: You know, that's just how it's turned out.
Things are where they are because they have to be.
The fact that the meerkats here wear radio collars... WATTS: Yeah.
BUCHANAN: ...we know that they will wear them, they can tolerate them they can carry that weight.
It's just sort of converting that knowledge into something that we can -- we can use for our purposes.
WATTS: I designed... BUCHANAN: His challenge has been to invent a camera that weighs less than 5% of a meerkat's body weight.
I think it's astounding that something as small as this... WATTS: Yeah it's mad isn't it?
BUCHANAN: ...can -- can -- can get actual moving images.
[ Insects chirping ] ♪♪ [ Birds chirping ] We're up at daybreak, eager to get to work.
♪♪ Look at this.
That -- that... You should -- you should be ashamed of yourself.
WATTS: I was quite pleased with myself actually.
BUCHANAN: A small cardboard box.
Today's challenge is getting our tiny cameras onto the meerkats.
♪♪ First up is a lively teenager called Fat Boy.
I think it's incredibly exciting that we might just be able to get one of our cameras right at the heart of this -- this family.
That is the goal.
That's the dream.
♪♪ [ Chuckles ] [ Meerkat calling ] ♪♪ [ Chuckles ] Ah, come on!
[ Chuckles ] Oh, well done, Chris.
He's got it on.
Next up is Eve.
Unlike Fat Boy, the camera slips on the first time.
♪♪ ♪♪ It's reassuring to see our film crew so relaxed and the test footage gives us our first glimpse of what it's like to be a meerkat.
MELDRUM: I just love how crazily big we look, it's a -- it's a tiny water bottle, it just looks huge.
BUCHANAN: Yeah, yeah.
Immediately the cameras reveal remarkable behavior.
♪♪ MELDRUM: Weird, isn't it?
WATTS: That's kind of like a grub of some kind.
Instead of wolfing it down, she gives it to one of the pups.
WATTS: Well, that looked like quite a good meal, didn't it?
Fat Boy's camera has recorded his favorite pastime, play fighting.
So I think we do enter their -- their world.
You're getting a big idea of what it is like to be a meerkat.
♪♪ That was just the start.
♪♪ We're now hoping to capture images from deep within their burrow, a side of meerkat life no one has ever seen before.
We'll need to light their dark tunnels but no one knows just how big they are.
♪♪ So we've invited geophysicist Adam Booth to scan our family's home with a ground penetrating radar.
♪♪ ♪♪ DR. BOOTH: Here we go.
DR. BOOTH: So that's what the network looks like.
It's it's pretty interconnected down there.
I mean I think it's really exciting that we've got our meerkat camera operator who can go down there and give us their eye view of it and we can check that against what we see in the radar and I think that's absolutely unique.
BUCHANAN: I hope that the cameras don't fall off down there because if they do, it's very unlikely we're gonna get any of the cameras back.
Adam's scan has revealed the burrow to be far bigger and more complex than anyone expected.
It looks like there are over 300 feet of tunnels.
It's an impressive piece of engineering.
♪♪ Understanding the size and shape of the tunnels has helped Chris come up with the best way of lighting them.
He's added infrared lights to the collar.
The light will bounce off the walls around the Meerkat's head.
♪♪ [ Meerkats chattering ] To minimize disturbance the camera's will be on for the night only and taken off again in the morning.
So they're deployed last thing before the group goes to bed.
Eve's camera goes on first.
MELDRUM: Hey Fat Boy.
BUCHANAN: Easy does it.
MELDRUM: He's a good boy.
BUCHANAN: Nice one.
Right Fat Boy, it's over to you.
As a cameraman I kinda feel like I'm giving over a lot, not to someone else, but to a completely different species.
I'm just putting all my faith in technology and in a meerkat.
♪♪ That's great.
♪♪ [ Meerkats chattering ] MELDRUM: Just having a bit of fun before going to bed.
♪♪ ♪♪ WATTS: Looks like we might be heading in.
[ Eve sniffing ] MELDRUM: Oh, barging past some pups.
BUCHANAN: In the pitch black, Eve relies entirely on her whiskers and sense of smell to find her way around the tunnels.
[ Sniffing continues ] ♪♪ WATTS: Wow, it feels quite grand in there.
MELDRUM: And you see the tunnel's dividing off, as well.
[ Sniffing continues ] ♪♪ ♪♪ BUCHANAN: Meerkats aren't the only lodgers here.
MELDRUM: Dung beetles.
BUCHANAN: Oh, wow, is it?
WATTS: That's cool.
BUCHANAN: Meerkats don't eat dung-beetles.
They help clear up the meerkats' mess, so the family welcomes these helpful housemates.
We can see every grain of sand down there, but the fact is for those meerkats, they can't see a single thing.
♪♪ BUCHANAN: Every time I've, I've been able to inspect a -- a -- a den or a tunnel system of any animal, it's always been a lot smaller than you'd ever expect, whereas this is a lot bigger than I expected.
BUCHANAN: Eve's navigating her way through a labyrinth.
♪♪ ♪♪ It's a vast interconnected system up to 4 feet underground with more than 20 entrances, and the signs of continuing excavation are everywhere.
MELDRUM: You can see some scratch marks sort of even on the -- it looks like the roof of the -- and the -- the walls of the tunnel.
BUCHANAN: It's like the inside of a polar bear's snow den.
It's just, like, claw mark... MELDRUM: Yeah.
BUCHANAN: ...where they've just been raking at the -- at the snow.
[ Meerkats chattering ] Eventually Eve enters a large chamber, and her camera reveals something new to science.
♪♪ Above ground, the feisty leader keeps lower ranking females like Eve at a distance, but down here, hierarchy is put to one side as the whole family shares the same bedroom.
♪♪ ♪♪ That is fantastic.
Yeah, it's really wonderful.
♪♪ ♪♪ Our cameras have given us our first fascinating look inside a meerkat's burrow.
♪♪ [ Birds chirping ] But there's something even more remarkable we want to capture.
Newborn pups only emerge from the burrow when they're 2 to 3 weeks old.
Before that, they're hidden below ground, a stage of meerkat life that scientists are desperate to learn more about.
♪♪ ♪♪ Over the coming weeks, the research team continues to deploy our cameras... ♪♪ ♪♪ ...until finally... [ Meerkats chattering ] a meerkat has given birth.
♪♪ ♪♪ We're taken right in to the birthing chamber.
[ Eve sniffing ] [ Chattering continues ] At the center are five new arrivals.
♪♪ These pups are less than a day old.
♪♪ ♪♪ One pup still has its umbilical cord attached.
♪♪ ♪♪ Instinctively, the infants search for their mother's milk.
♪♪ Their eyes are still closed, but they're already communicating.
[ Chattering continues ] ♪♪ ♪♪ In this maze of dark tunnels, their chirps help the adults find them.
♪♪ ♪♪ And also help the family build the strong bonds they'll need to survive above ground.
♪♪ ♪♪ These results are ground-breaking.
The whole scientific team gathers to watch the family's footage.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ For Laura, it's the film of the newborn pups that's most exciting.
MELDRUM: I would almost have expected them to be a lot more wobbly and it -- it take a while longer for them to be able to sort of be this active.
It's nice to be able to see that they have this mobility about them and they can walk around the burrow and sort of find their way over to the nipple that they want.
We know so much about their lives above ground, but it's then beginning to know things about their lives below ground that is really exciting for the future.
♪♪ ♪♪ BUCHANAN: The cameras have provided the missing piece of the puzzle.
♪♪ ♪♪ But miniature camera technology isn't just making breakthroughs below ground.
♪♪ In another part of Africa, it's helping scientists study an endangered animal in the very tops of the rainforest trees.
[ Birds chirping ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ I've traveled deep into the jungles of Cameroon.
♪♪ The forests here are home to an incredible variety of wildlife... ♪♪ ...including a species that I've always been fascinated by.
♪♪ I'm on my way to meet a troop of chimpanzees who we hope will take our cameras into their treetop world.
♪♪ ♪♪ We've set up camp at Sanaga-Yong Rescue Center.
♪♪ Here, orphan chimps are taught the survival skills they need to join a chimpanzee family.
♪♪ The ultimate goal is to build well-bonded groups which can be released back into the wild.
♪♪ ♪♪ We're here to see if onboard cameras can help monitor and speed up that process.
♪♪ This bundle of energy is 4-year-old Kimbang.
♪♪ Like others here, she's had a difficult start in life.
♪♪ Weak and traumatized, Kimbang arrived in a box.
Poachers had killed her mother for food.
♪♪ Mimi Swift has been preparing the youngster for her first step towards a new life.
♪♪ [ Grunting ] SWIFT: As a surrogate mother, you want to be able to teach them everything that they need to know to be with an actual chimp group, because that's the end goal.
[ Chimpanzees calling ] The big question is whether this little one is ready to join a family group.
Mimi can't see Kimbang in the treetops, so she's built her a camera harness.
BUCHANAN: Good girl.
Don't stamp on me.
She's hoping we can improve her design and help deliver the footage she needs.
BUCHANAN: Easy now.
What would you be most interested in finding out?
SWIFT: I'd like to know how she's moving through the forest because she may be able to climb high, but she may not be confident.
Also how she's choosing fruits.
BUCHANAN: So any footage we get from the cameras, will that help you kind of plan the next step for Kimbang?
SWIFT: Hopefully, if she's overcoming those milestones, then I'll feel more confident putting her into a group that she'll be able to protect herself.
♪♪ BUCHANAN: Mimi's original design was built with car tires and nuts and bolts.
Now Chris is going to try and make it even stronger.
♪♪ WATTS: So I'm trying to -- trying to chimp test this.
I'm nowhere as strong as a chimp, but if I -- if I can break it, then we know that they can, so just try to break it.
BUCHANAN: We're ready to give the camera a go, but we'll have to wait for Kimbang to settle down first.
What are you doing, you nutter?
No, that's not.
SWIFT: Do you need that?
BUCHANAN: It's my shopping list.
[ Chuckles ] ♪♪ BUCHANAN: Kimbang's never seen the camera before, so a little encouragement is needed.
♪♪ ♪♪ Kimbang.
It's what everyone's wearing in London.
Do you want it?
♪♪ [ Both chuckle ] For safety, the harness has been designed so Kimbang can remove it any time she wants.
There we go.
A special cuddle.
There you go.
SWIFT: Good girl Kimbang.
BUCHANAN: Eventually, she agrees to wear the camera like a belt.
But our success is short lived.
♪♪ Within minutes, Kimbang has pulled the reinforced harness apart.
♪♪ ♪♪ SWIFT: You've broken it, Kimbang.
♪♪ BUCHANAN: We're going to have to seriously rethink our approach.
[ Animals calling ] Work is under way on an even more industrial design.
So how many hours do you reckon for one collar?
WATTS: It's kind of a 2-day process.
But it is, it's a lot of work.
WATTS: To start with, you have the scratching and the gluing, then they get sent off to be stitched but then these harnesses need boiling and they get boiled so they actually push back in on themselves so it makes it easier for the chimps to put them back on.
BUCHANAN: Seeing how strong and how destructive they are, you realize actually it's the only way it can be done.
WATTS: Absolutely, it's that deadly combination of intelligence and strength.
[ Insects chirping ] [ Birds chirping ] ♪♪ Two days later, the new chimp camera is ready for action.
WATTS: Right, I'm finished.
Yeah, I'm really happy with that.
BUCHANAN: And everything is in place for Kimbang's treetop test.
The first test will be to see if Kimbang can find her own food.
♪♪ In the forest, young chimps need to learn which fruits are safe to eat.
♪♪ SWIFT: Sometimes when she comes down from the trees, I can see round her mouth the remnants of some wild fruits that she's eaten, or I can smell it on her breath something sweet... BUCHANAN: And you don't know what it is.
SWIFT: ...but I don't know where she's got it.
BUCHANAN: The only way for us to monitor Kimbang up there is with our on-board camera.
Now that she's got the camera on, I hope she'll keep it on and then go off and find her own food and it'll be really interesting to find out if Kimbang has those skills.
♪♪ Right, shall we have a look at this?
♪♪ ♪♪ [ Chuckles ] She's checking the camera.
Yeah, it's still there.
BUCHANAN: To begin with, we're getting a lot of selfies.
[ Laughs ] Our camera's lens is highly reflective.
So Kimbang is having a good, long look at herself for the first time.
♪♪ That's great.
Finally, she starts to focus on the task at hand.
You actually get a real sense of how fast she's moving on the -- on the ground.
BUCHANAN: Chimpanzees have got an amazing turn of speed.
I want to be able to climb like that.
SWIFT: The strength in their -- in their limbs is incredible.
BUCHANAN: Gosh, how high is she?
SWIFT: She looks really high.
SWIFT: She should be able to go right to the top of the canopy.
BUCHANAN: She's doing a great job actually, wearing it.
At any point she could just rip it off if she wants and throw it out of the trees, so it is amazing actually that she's cooperating like this.
♪♪ SWIFT: And I'm really encouraged by her climbing, how fast she's going through the vines or the spiky trees or the thicker trees.
She's not falling at all, she's finding which branch she wants to go to and going straight for it and making those right decisions.
SWIFT: That's really important.
Yeah, she's doing really well.
SWIFT: See, she grabbed something to eat.
BUCHANAN: Oh, yeah, yeah.
SWIFT: Did you see that?
SWIFT: She just grabbed it from the bush, she's got it in her mouth.
What is it?
She smells it.
BUCHANAN: Nope, not good enough.
Are you encouraged when you see this?
SWIFT: Yeah, that she's testing things, smelling it and making that decision that that's not something she wants to eat.
BUCHANAN: But it really kind of does build up a picture of exactly what's going on up there.
[ Birds chirping ] From her traumatic start in life, Kimbang has come a very long way.
[ Insects chirping ] But before Mimi feels completely confident about releasing her into a family group, she wants to see if Kimbang can recognize and respond to danger.
So we've come up with an experiment using a plastic predator.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ SWIFT: I've never seen her see a snake, so I hope that she doesn't get too close and that she lets us know that it's there and will make a small noise like, "Ooh, ooh," so that we know that there's something that she shouldn't go near.
♪♪ See, I'm really excited to find out exactly how she reacts to this.
SWIFT: Good girl, Kimbang.
BUCHANAN: Good girl.
♪♪ ♪♪ Can you figure out what she's actually doing?
SWIFT: She's stopped, so she must have seen it.
BUCHANAN: Is she looking at it?
Yeah, she definitely knows something's not quite right.
♪♪ ♪♪ SWIFT: Yeah, look, she's moved right round.
And she hasn't gone actually near the snake.
She's just checking it from every angle.
BUCHANAN: This response is entirely based on instinct.
SWIFT: There's a lots of snakes in this forest, so if she'd just gone and grabbed it, then it would be really worrying.
♪♪ SWIFT: See, she just touched the bush to see if it will move.
BUCHANAN: Yeah, yeah.
SWIFT: Which is great.
BUCHANAN: Kimbang adopts a defensive strategy.
SWIFT: She's even using the bush to make herself look even bigger.
BUCHANAN: Good girl.
She's improvising, using every tool at her disposal.
Oh that's good, she's trying to hit it with, with the camera.
But will she make an alarm call to announce the danger?
[ Kimbang hooting ] BUCHANAN: Yes, that is brilliant.
[ Kimbang hooting ] SWIFT: It's great that she's let us know that it's there.
BUCHANAN: That is good.
SWIFT: So I think we should make an alarm call so she knows we've seen it, and then she'll leave with us.
BUCHANAN: It's the perfect response, one that could have saved her in a real life snake encounter.
Take the camera with you.
Kimbang is proving with every task that she's ready for the next step.
Like all chimps, Kimbang's future survival depends on being part of a family group.
SWIFT: Chimps are extremely social animals, even more than humans.
They're so social, and that's how they learn, that's how they survive.
They help each other.
If there's a disabled chimp, then sometimes the troop will carry it through that time and make sure that they look after it.
They need the support of each other.
They need it emotionally, and they need it physically.
They need to protect each other.
A lone chimp by itself, especially a young one, is just so vulnerable, they'd never survive.
[ Animals calling ] BUCHANAN: Mimi thinks there's a suitable group for Kimbang to join.
Like Kimbang, they were once orphans.
Could our cameras reveal how this newly formed family is adapting to life in the treetops?
They live in a large patch of rainforest but they can be lured to the perimeter fence to pick up their cameras.
Adult chimps are even more destructive than the little ones, so we've had to seriously modify the cameras to protect them.
Ordinarily in these housings, there's a button that switches the camera on and a button that starts it recording, stops it recording, but these chimpanzees are so clever they will happily switch the cameras off, start them recording, stop them recording, so we've had to actually deactivate all of the buttons, wire them shut, and hopefully they'll just take them off into the forest to explore.
The cameras are on, and the family are off straight away into the canopy.
[ Chimpanzee calling ] ♪♪ ♪♪ Now the chimps have their cameras, it's time for me to get out my mine.
But, I'm soon reminded of why we need our chimp camera crew to film themselves.
Just standing here, you realize how little of a time these chimps are not in full view.
Even in a situation like this, I've got eight chimpanzees within 50 meters of me, and at the moment, you can really only wonder at what's going on in these thick bushes and all I can hope is that some of those cameras are still able to capture behavior that I can only guess at.
If they work, we'll gain a whole new insight into this family and the secrets of their life in the treetops.
♪♪ But for that, we'll have to wait because for now, we're leaving the forests of Cameroon.
♪♪ On the other side of the world in Argentina, another animal camera team is setting out to solve a very different mystery.
♪♪ Cabo Dos Bahias on the east coast of Patagonia is home to thousands of Magellanic penguins.
♪♪ For the last 20 years, Dr. Rory Wilson from Swansea University in Wales has been researching these charismatic characters.
♪♪ But last year, 60% of chicks died.
This happens every few years and Rory is desperate to understand why.
♪♪ He's hoping our cameras will show him how these parents are finding food far out at sea, and reveal what they're catching for their young.
♪♪ It's the key to their chicks survival.
DR. WILSON: It's an interesting time of year because the chicks, from being small and needing rather little food, have got bigger and suddenly both the parents have to go off to sea to get fish.
They shuttle backwards and forwards delivering fish to these chicks that have to grow as fast as they can.
BUCHANAN: They'll need a bellyful of food every couple of days, or they risk starvation.
♪♪ Rory has already developed tech that records the birds' movements and calculates their diving depths.
♪♪ This year, our cameras will reveal the final piece of the puzzle, allowing Rory to watch them hunt far out in the Atlantic.
[ Penguins calling ] ♪♪ The team have perfected the art of attaching their gadgets over many years.
♪♪ Our cameras have been streamlined and are being placed on the lower back.
♪♪ ♪♪ DR. WILSON: Okay?
MAN: Okay, ready.
DR. WILSON: Ready to roll?
MAN: Ready to roll.
♪♪ BUCHANAN: Within a matter of minutes, parents are returned to their chicks completely unfazed by their mini-backpacks.
♪♪ One by one, our marine team set off to film their hunting trips.
♪♪ ♪♪ DR. WILSON: The complexity of the penguin life at sea is inconceivable to us.
This is going to be critical for conservation, because you can't conserve anything unless you understand it properly.
♪♪ BUCHANAN: Rory is hoping the footage will reveal why in some years, so few chicks survive.
♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ Our parents bravely swim out through the wild Atlantic surf.
♪♪ ♪♪ To find their feeding ground, they'll travel up to 200 miles on a grueling round trip that could last up to three days.
♪♪ ♪♪ Scientists suspect their sense of smell might guide them to areas that are rich in prey.
♪♪ ♪♪ They fluff an insulating layer of air into their feathers... ♪♪ ...before diving down to the chilly depths.
♪♪ Our parents will make up to 400 dives on a typical trip.
♪♪ ♪♪ The longer they search, the more energy they burn.
And with hungry chicks waiting to be fed, the clock is ticking.
♪♪ So what our cameras film next is a real surprise.
DR. WILSON: Oh.
MAN: Oh, my goodness it's a... DR. WILSON: Inspection.
MAN: Did you see that?
DR. WILSON: Just had a look at it, said no, not for me.
BUCHANAN: After hours at sea, our hungry penguins are ignoring perfectly edible prey.
DR. WILSON: Whoa, straight past the shrimps.
BUCHANAN: Shrimps, squid, and lobster krill are all passed up.
The penguins are taking a massive gamble.
Their chicks will starve if they leave them for too long without a meal.
♪♪ ♪♪ But the penguin parents keep searching until they finally find what they're after.
♪♪ DR. WILSON: There's a -- MAN: Oh look at that.
DR. WILSON: There's a school.
These oil-rich fish are penguin super food.
♪♪ ♪♪ Our cameras first show the penguins dropping beneath the fish.
♪♪ The air in their feathers makes them so buoyant that they shoot up into the shoal.
♪♪ ♪♪ Anchovies are the highest quality food these parents can feed their chicks, and that can mean the difference between life and death.
♪♪ ♪♪ All the penguin activity attracts other seabirds.
[ Birds squawking ] Long-winged shearwaters join the feast.
But until a catch has been swallowed, it's up for grabs.
Our camera captures a gull snatching a fish straight from a penguin's beak.
♪♪ The footage has given Rory a whole new understanding and shown just how important anchovies are to this population.
DR. WILSON: This penguin's-eye view puts everything else that we've got into perspective in terms of the difficulties of finding food.
BUCHANAN: An anchovy shortage last year may explain why so many young penguins died.
When they're scarce, parents may have to spend longer at sea or return with food which isn't nutritious enough.
♪♪ Fortunately our cameras indicate an abundance of anchovies this year -- good news for Patagonia's penguins.
♪♪ ♪♪ DR. WILSON: I was always impressed with penguins.
Seeing their amazing capabilities on these cameras has just blown it away.
I mean they're more impressive than I thought they possibly could be.
BUCHANAN: This is the start of an exciting new era in penguin research.
The cameras will enable the team to study this population in a whole new way and could even help protect this species in the future.
♪♪ [ Birds chirping ] Back in the remote jungles of Cameroon, our cameras have played a key role in helping orphaned Kimbang on her journey to join a family.
Now we're about to discover what they could teach us about the troop Mimi hopes Kimbang will join.
♪♪ We've built a set of extra strong chimp cams, and Mimi has persuaded the family to take them deep into their forested enclosure.
♪♪ ♪♪ The chimps have come back to a smaller enclosure for the night.
♪♪ ♪♪ But the chimps seem to have become fond of their camera necklaces.
So we've got one harness up there.
Can I have that?
Can I have it?
BUCHANAN: Luckily, Mimi has a friend on the inside.
SWIFT: Oh, good girl, Anita.
Anita will go and find them, and she'll take them and then bring them to me, especially if I ask for them.
Thank you, Anita.
Okay, then, Anita.
Good girl, Anita.
BUCHANAN: Clever girl.
SWIFT: Good girl, Anita.
BUCHANAN: Anita has found 2 out of the 3 cameras.
Meaning there's one that's been left out in the forest somewhere.
♪♪ ♪♪ Fortunately, we fitted the harnesses with a tracking device.
Back that way.
SWIFT: It's there.
BUCHANAN: Nice one.
What will the footage reveal?
[ Birds chirping ] SWIFT: She's running through the bush.
BUCHANAN: That's good, that's great though.
That is great.
You can just almost hear her think, right, "What am I gonna do now?"
BUCHANAN: "I can go left, go right, go straight, climb a tree."
It is amazing.
Really, I love it.
SWIFT: Got a wild fruit.
BUCHANAN: Oh, wow.
♪♪ SWIFT: Oh, she's dropped the camera.
[ Chuckles ] BUCHANAN: Fortunately she's left it pointing up.
It's what we call a static shot, so she knows the kind of, the lingo.
SWIFT: She might pick it up.
Pick up, Summer.
BUCHANAN: Ooh, ooh.
SWIFT: Oh, we better -- got it.
BUCHANAN: Come on Come on.
Is she climbing?
BUCHANAN: She's got the camera in her -- her hand as she climbs up.
SWIFT: That's really cool.
BUCHANAN: Instantly you get this, a real chimp point of view.
At the very tops of the trees, we get to see their world through her eyes.
SWIFT: She's quite high.
BUCHANAN: And she's going higher.
The cameras give a sense of how comfortable and confident the group are 100 feet off the ground.
♪♪ See another chimp in the background.
SWIFT: Oh, yeah.
BUCHANAN: Expert climbers, but how they're able to navigate around in the canopy... it's amazing.
I am blown away by that.
♪♪ ♪♪ And the other Chimp-cams have revealed some even more remarkable behavior.
One of the females has mud on her hand.
At first she tries to wipe it off with leaves, but when that doesn't work, she does something completely unexpected.
♪♪ She's lapping water from a hole in the tree trunk.
She climbs higher to take a seat, then cleverly uses the water held in her mouth to wash her hands.
♪♪ This family member is cleaning its teeth with a twig.
♪♪ Another camera has revealed a female delicately weaving herself the perfect treetop nest.
♪♪ It's a rare and privileged glimpse into this family's world, a view a cameraman like me could never capture.
I think we're so used to just sort of looking up at animals in trees, and you don't really get a sense of what it is truly like for them up there and this -- this gives you that sense.
You know, I think every single frame, every second that we get is showing us something that we've never seen before.
I think it's wonderful.
SWIFT: Being able to see tiny little glimpses that you'd never normally see has taught me so much about chimps that I didn't know, and what's going on up there.
♪♪ BUCHANAN: The cameras have revealed that the adults are thriving in their forest home.
♪♪ It's clear this family has a strong bond.
It's exactly the sort of nurturing environment a young chimp like Kimbang needs.
♪♪ I go to say my final farewells, and this time Kimbang seems more interested in exploring her surroundings than playing with us.
It's encouraging to see how confident and free spirited she's become.
From everything that we've seen or everything that she's shown us, do you think that Kimbang is ready to join a group of chimps in the forest?
SWIFT: Yeah, I'm confident.
I think she'll flourish, actually, in a group.
BUCHANAN: It's a really exciting next step for her not only that she can get by, but she can actually contribute to chimpanzee society, doing all of the things that chimpanzees should be doing.
I'm really gonna miss her.
I really am.
I've just absolutely loved spending time with her in the forest and actually kind of watching her do what she does like so, so wonderfully.
♪♪ From the chimpanzee's extraordinary treetop world to the meerkat's secret life below ground and our penguins' epic underwater adventures, our cameras have revealed more than we could ever have imagined.
[ Meerkats chattering ] Thank you very much.
You've all been wonderful.
[ Chattering continues ] BUCHANAN: For our next mission, our cameras reveal the hidden lives of three very different families.
Working with scientists, we're going to design cameras to take us into their hidden world.
VAN VUUREN: It is a brilliant idea.
BUCHANAN: This is their footage... their story, and we're going to see it through their eyes.
♪♪ BUCHANAN: Wow, that is stunning.
VAN VUUREN: Yes.
♪♪ [ Cheetah purrs ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ To learn more about what you've seen on this "Nature" program, visit pbs.org.