‘Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory’ Premieres on Disney+

Education Entertainment Featured Television

A year ago National Geographic began streaming Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory on Disney+. This season of episodes took viewers around the world and used the latest technology to capture animals in their native habitats as never seen before. Now the intrepid explorer of nature and its wonders returns with another series of shows on Disney+: Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory

What Is Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory?

Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory is a nature documentary series hosted by Bertie Gregory, who is also the director of photography as well as creative contributor and co-producer. As Bertie returns with 6 unique episodes, the adventures are even more epic than before. He take us to the most spectacular corners of our planet — from Antarctica to Africa and South America to Asia – as they track down some extraordinary animals and capture their daily lives like never before. Armed with drones, state-of-the-art cameras, and underwater tech, Bertie and his team brave subzero seas, climb snow-capped mountains, and sleep suspended 120 feet in the air to reveal the challenges these animals endure, their fierce rivalries, and the threats they face on our changing planet. All six episodes begin streaming on Disney+ on September 13th. Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory  is produced by Wildstar Films for National Geographic. Anwar Momon also returns as the producer. Let’s take a look at what you can expect in each episode:

‘Antarctic Killer Waves’

Bertie and his crew set sail in the frigid waters off of Antarctica aboard the Australis. They navigate between ice sheets and icebergs into an area known as the gullet. Using ship-mounted stabilized cameras as well as drones and even underwater photography, Bertie follows pods of killer whales as they go on the hunt for seals. 

killer whales
Four Killer Whales surrounding a group of Weddell Seals on an ice flow(credit: National Geographic for Disney+/Leigh Hickmott)

‘Galapagos Marvels’

Bertie travels to the Galapagos Islands, off the coast of South America. The team follows marine iguanas as they rest on lava rocks and then dive down into the ocean in search of food. Eagle rays and Galapagos sharks are also filmed underwater. Back on the shore, Bertie uses drones to get some great aerial images of the islands as well as seals and pelicans. 

Bertie Gregory filming a seal. (National Geographic for Disney+/James Brickell)

‘Botswana Wild Dogs’

This episode takes us to the Okavango Delta in Botswana to capture on film Africa wild dogs. Twenty years ago there were over 500,000 of them in the world. Now there are less than 7,000. Using aerial drones and special cameras mounted to their all-terrain vehicle, Bertie is able to follow these wild dogs as they hunt a warthog. They then have to defend their kill from a pack of hyenas. These wild dogs are not even afraid to go after a herd of wildebeest. 

wild dogs
Wild dogs running along side Wildebeest. (National Geographic for Disney+/Sam Stewart)

‘Patagonia Puma’

Bertie returns to Argentina to follow a female puma named Petacca that he first met four years ago when she was just a cub. Now she is a mother and fiercely protective of her cubs. Follow Bertie as he climbs high mountains to follow the pumas and down to the plains where farmers are finding new ways to protect their flocks of sheep. Instead of using bullets to kill the big cats, they are training guardian dogs to keep the pumas away from the sheep without killing them. Using military grade thermal cameras, the team films an interaction between puma and dogs in the dark of night. 

Puma family nestled into the rocks. (National Geographic for Disney+/John Shier)

‘Devil Ray Islands’

Follow Bertie as he takes viewers to the islands of Indonesia to film the elusive devil ray, a relative of the manta ray. Working in tandem with a native drone pilot, Bertie controls the camera for some breathtaking views as they look for hotspots of anchovies which can be feeding spots for the devil rays. The team dives down into a channel between two islands with currents so strong they can’t swim against it. Instead, they film as they literally go with the flow. 

devil ray
A ray in the water. (National Geographic for Disney+/Bertie Gregory)

‘Elephant Quest’

The Dzanga-Sangha National Park in the Central African Republic is the location for this episode. Bertie is looking for African forest elephants whose large tusks make them prime targets for poachers. As a result, in the past 12 years, their population dropped by half. In order to film a herd of these elephants in an clearing in the middle of the forest, they team sets up a filming platform as well as their camp high up in the trees. In addition to the elephants, the team also films other animals including gorillas.

in a storm
Bertie Gregory sitting up a tree watching the electrical storm. (National Geographic for Disney+/Mark Mclean)

Why You Should See Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory

I continue to be amazed at the quality of National Geographic’s shows. Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory takes viewers to some of the most remote places on earth. Bertie braves severe weather and extreme temperature in order to photograph footage of animals in new and unique ways. In addition to getting right in the middle of the action, Bertie also uses drones to get some great aerial footage of the surrounding terrain as well as for following predators as they pursue their prey. Whether on a beach, high upon the mountains, or under the water, it cinematography is incredible. I highly recommend watching Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory. Just like his previous series, these episodes are not only entertaining, but also educational. I learned a lot while watching the six episodes and will be using some parts of it in my science class to help reinforce concepts we are studying including the importance of conservation and protecting endangered species. While you can watch it on a small device, I suggest a large screen HD television so you can really appreciate it the breathtaking imagery.   

Be sure to watch Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory when it begins streaming on Disney+ beginning Wednesday, September 13th. Here is a trailer for the series.


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