When the emperor penguins being filmed as part of BBC’s nature documentary series Dynasties found themselves trapped and unable to climb out of a crevice, they were facing certain death. The film crew watching the situation unfold were faced with a tough choice. Should they intervene and help save the animals or leave them to die?
It’s usual practice for documentary filmmakers to let nature take its course and not intervene, even if that action may lead to tragedy. But in this instance, the crew were faced with an unusual situation and decided to break with convention.
The penguins had somehow fallen into the gully in the middle of a storm and several of the birds had their young with them. With temperatures dropping and the birds’ predicament getting more and more dire, the crew decided to make what BBC Earth called an “unprecedented move” and dug a set of stairs that the penguins could use to climb out of the gully themselves. Their intervention did not harm or stress the penguins in any way, and ultimately was applauded by other wildlife filmmakers.
Watch the crew working to save the emperor penguins in the heartwarming video below: