Painted Wolves on DynastiesCredit:Nick Lyon Lyon said the battle between Tait and Blacktip felt “Shakespearian in its scale and in the intensity of the rivalry.”He described the months of filming as “a real challenge” and revealed that the crew drove 82,000km by car as they followed the wolves and learnt to predict their habits and behaviours so they could get ahead of them to capture key moments.He added: “The painted wolves got to recognise us too and were completely relaxed having us around. It was like they totally accepted us being there with them. Such a privilege and it allowed us to get some extraordinary insights into their lives.” Suddenly, a crocodile pounces, sending them flying into the air.But it is too quick for one of the pups, who is grabbed by the paw and filmed being dragged into the water, flailing helplessly.The rest of the pack is forced to watch from the shore, desperate to help, but clearly aware there is nothing they can do. The water is swarming with crocodiles.The pack retreats back to its original territory, having suffered one loss too many, running for miles, throughout the day and night, back home.The BBC confirmed that the pup’s death was so horrific that it caused Lyon to vomit as he watched it happen.The director said: “When you follow animals for as long as we did, you get to know them and care what happens to them.“It becomes an emotional experience when you see one of the characters having a bad time, or having real success. I loved the puppies. I remember when they were out of the den for the first time at just three weeks old. They were so tiny, with oversized heads, that would overbalance on their front legs.” It was one of the most brutal and bloody episodes of the BBC’s acclaimed wildlife series, with animals ripping each other to shreds in heart-wrenching scenes.The unfolding drama in last night’s episode of Dynasties, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, proved too much even for Nick Lyon, the series director, who vomited as he witnessed a crocodile lunge suddenly out of the water and snatch a tiny, painted wolf cub.The crew had spent two years carefully monitoring two rival packs of painted wolves as they battled for territory on the banks of the Zambezi river in Zimbabwe.It focused on Tait, who had ruled her pack uncontested for five years, but was threatened by Blacktip, one of her own daughters, who ruled a 30-strong pack of her own and was after her territory.Blacktip gave birth to a litter of five pups during the programme and she leads them through ever-increasing dangers, facing the threat of lions and buffalo whilst taking on baboons.She has already lost one of her pups to hyenas when the pack is resting at the water’s edge after a narrow escape with a pride of lions. Blacktip’s pack on DynastiesCredit:Nick Lyon Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
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