Are cops just remote controlled agents

“Undercover among animals”: ​​“Universe” on a secret mission between the Arctic and the equator

On November 24th at 8:15 p.m. on ORF 2

Vienna (OTS) - The second part of the new “Universe” series “Undercover Among Animals” takes the artificial “Undercover Spies” on Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 at 8.15 p.m. on ORF 2 “on a secret mission between the Arctic and the Equator” Northern wildlife. Here the seasons bring constant changes in living conditions - even the remote-controlled agents in animal outfits have to be flexible and weatherproof in these latitudes. You go to catch salmon with grizzly bears in Alaska, accompany sea otters and their young, dive with devil rays off the coast of Mexico and experience the hard work in a German beaver den. There are different habitats into which the "undercover spies" give a glimpse this time: Meadows, bodies of water and forests in the northern hemisphere. The British nature filmmaker John Downer documents in his film (ORF processing: Doris Hochmayr) exciting stories from the animal world from Alaska to Germany, from the Mexican Sierra Nevada to the deciduous forests of England. The other episodes are on the program of ORF 2 on December 1st and 8th.

A special agent, with thick fur and keen eyes, is on duty on the Alaskan coast. He has joined a group of sea otters. The mother animals float backwards like no boats on the surface of the water. The boys are enthroned on their bellies. They cannot dive yet and are completely dependent on their mothers. When the spring sun sets the glacier tongues on the coast in motion, there is an alarm mood. The chunks of ice falling into the water create tidal waves. In order not to be carried away, the sea otters and their cubs wrap themselves in seaweed leaves that are firmly anchored in the seabed. Even the remote-controlled spy only escapes high waves by a hair's breadth.

The undercover agents work as a team on a river in midsummer Alaska: A remote-controlled sockeye salmon and a mechanical cub are at the small waterfalls during the long salmon migration, where the grizzlies are eagerly awaiting the tasty fish. A spectacular hunt for life and death from two perspectives: the hunter and the prey.

In the Mexican Gulf of California, two spies witness a unique “water ballet”: a motorized pelican and his companion in the form of a devil stingray experience the joint hunt of thousands of rays up close. The fish swim synchronously in a close circle, creating a suction that keeps the zooplankton in their center. A feast that the otherwise solitary animals can only succeed in a group.

Autumn forces many animal species in the cooler latitudes to take extensive "winter precautions". Beavers spend the last few weeks before the first snowfall is particularly busy. The whole family plugs holes in the underwater area of ​​the beaver den, repairs the roof with earth and stones and fills the pantry with meter-long willow branches. The “strange” beaver in the pond, a submersible spy in deceptively real beaver fur, is welcome among the hospitable beavers. They are used to sharing, because they often make areas of their spacious building available to sub-tenants - in this case a muskrat tinkers in peaceful harmony with the landlord on the common winter quarters.

In the forests of the Mexican Sierra Nevada, millions of monarch butterflies winter on certain groups of trees, which are revisited year after year by each new generation. As a spy on site, a small miracle of camera technology buzzes around the sleeping beauties: a blue-throated hummingbird. Its propellers are protected with fine-meshed grids so that no butterfly is harmed in the tangle of colorful wings. When the air temperature reaches 13 degrees, the million crowd begins their long journey to North America. Some monarch butterflies unexpectedly land on the lattice covers of the supposed hummingbird to take a break: It's a rare opportunity to marvel at the colorful butterflies up close.

Winter precautions are less civilized in the deciduous forests of England. Here an agent in the form of a gray squirrel enters the battle for the best nuts. The nimble rodents even steal it from each other's mouths. Every animal buries hundreds of nuts in the ground. No more than a third of the hiding spots will be remembered. Only the spy could easily find most of them - the nuts that the other gray squirrels keep stealing from him are equipped with hidden cameras.

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