Ingenious Animals

Confirmed for BBC One on 1 September at 8pm to 9pm

Ep 1/4

Thursday 1 September



In this brand new series, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and a team of wildlife experts travel the globe in search of the most surprising animal stories and reveal how and why animals do such remarkable things.

The first episode explores the incredible world of animal intelligence, with Hugh visiting Florida, zoologist Lucy Cooke in Canada and The Bahamas, biologist Patrick Aryee in Cambodia and conservationist Giles Clark in Kenya.

Hugh investigates a very unexpected relationship between a dangerous predator, the alligator, and a gentle giant, the manatee, which has animal intelligence experts baffled. Meanwhile Lucy finds out how we may be making one smart city dweller, the raccoon, even smarter.

Patrick tests the intelligence of one of the world’s craftiest animals, the Sun Bear, and also investigates how the surprisingly clever rat is helping to save lives as part of a unique mine detection squad. Elsewhere, Giles finds out if elephants can feel empathy - one of the most sophisticated forms of emotional intelligence. Can a herd of orphan elephants use it to help a very special baby?

The programme also finds out how new research is leading us to question long-held beliefs about the intelligence of reptiles: could these cold blooded creatures be smarter than we think?

Ingenious Animals is made by Oxford Scientific Films. Commissioned by Craig Hunter, BBC Commissioning Editor Natural History and Specialist Factual. Executive Produced by Alice Keens-Soper, Series Produced by Gary Broadhurst, Series Directed by Serena Davies and Produced/Directed by Rob Neil.