Beetlecam gets Bug’s eye view of Longleat’s Big Four

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Beetlecam gets Bug’s eye view of Longleat’s Big Four A male lion at Longleat takes a keen interest in Beetlecam ©Will-Burrard-Lucas

An African wildlife photographer has used a miniature off-road buggy to take stunning close-up images of some of Longleat’s biggest and fiercest animals

Professional photographer Will Burrard-Lucas used his own invention – an armoured remote controlled buggy with a high quality camera mounted inside called ‘BeetleCam’ to get the images. The amazing results of his efforts will be broadcast as part of BBC One’s Animal Park Summer Special this week.

As well as incredible shots of Longleat lions and tigers, Will also used the mobile camera to get incredible close-ups of the Wiltshire safari park’s rhinos and wolves.

“By being so low to the ground and appearing so non-threatening the camera allows me to get some really unusual and unique images of a variety of different species you cannot normally approach,” said Will. “The angle of the camera also provides a new perspective and allows the viewer to get to feel the individual animal’s personality much more clearly,” he added.

Will first came up with the idea for the remote controlled camera during a photographic assignment in Tanzania.

“I started thinking about how I could get unique, close-up, ground level photographs of African wildlife without risking my life,” said Will.

“The first project resulted in ground-breaking photographs of elephants and buffalo. However, I lost a camera in an encounter with a lion and BeetleCam was almost destroyed.

“On returning to the UK in 2013, I developed a new version of BeetleCam, five years in the making, with a stronger, lighter protective shell and more advanced capabilities,” he added.

BeetleCam has proved so successful Will has now launched an online company to produce bespoke RC camera vehicles for other photographers. The results of Will’s efforts can be seen on Animal Park Summer Specials on Tuesday 14th August and Friday 17th August at 9.15am on BBC One.

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