The Elephant: Life After Death

A 90 minute 'special' for Channel 4


Executive Producer: Dick Colthurst

Director: Andrew Graham-Brown


The blood and guts story of what happens when an animal at the top of the food chain dies and thousands of smaller animals gorge on its carcass. Filmed day and night over three weeks in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya with state of the art remote cameras, HD and macro-photography.

THE INDEPENDENT Reviewed by Tom Sutcliffe Thursday, 17 February 2011

It isn't very often you get a fresh angle on a subject as comprehensively filmed as African wildlife. And perhaps in this case "fresh" isn't really the appropriate word. After only a day or two a rotting elephant makes a pungently powerful advertisement for its own attractions. But Channel 4's film did offer an intriguing alternative to the familiar old narratives of hunting and fleeing, mating and cub-rearing, and it captured several sights that viewers won't have seen before, most of them a stomach-turning testimony to nature's lack of fastidiousness. The technology was pretty good, too. While the hyena was ramming its head up the back passage of the elephant, for example, a swarm of hippoboscid flies had their proboscises buried deep in the hyena's anus, and we were able to watch them at it, courtesy of some remarkably crisp infra-red night filming.



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