The contests between predators and prey are the most critical events in nature. The outcome of these interactions is seldom a foregone conclusion. For both sides, it is a matter of life and death.
This series takes an intimate look at the remarkable strategies of hunters and, in some cases, the hunted, exploring the challenges animals face and the tactics they employ. It is how animals respond to a particular challenge that determines whether they are successful.
The strategies of both predators and prey are shaped by where they live, so each episode focuses on one principal habitat, whether savannah, jungle or ocean.
Stories range from the desert lions that use the cloak of a sea mist to ambush oryx, to the killer whales that use teamwork and sonar to pinpoint prey in the open ocean, from the spider that alters its hunting strategy to match its prey to the octopus that walks across land to reach fish trapped in rock pools.
Confident and cinematic in style, The Hunt is a celebration of nature’s most determined, specialised and cunning predators and their equally cunning and elusive prey.
Until now, only a handful of underwater shots existed of the planet’s largest predator, the blue whale. It took the crew 560 hours to capture a spectacular seven-minute feeding event on just one day.
To film the hotrod ant in the Namib desert, the crew had to withstand searing temperatures as the sand reached 70C – too hot to stand on and hot enough to melt the cameraman's boots!
It took two years to capture an orca hunting humpback whale calves.
A polar bear was filmed rock climbing 300m (984ft) up a cliff – the first time a polar bear has been filmed risking life and limb to get at bird chicks and eggs on a precipice.
The Australian abdopus octopus was only discovered in 2011 and this is the first time they have ever been filmed for broadcast.
The crew spent over 80 days in the field to capture the world’s smallest marine animal, the South American marine otter.
The Darwin’s bark spider has never been filmed before. This extraordinary creature can spray silk in one continuous strand and it is the toughest natural fibre on the planet – 10 times tougher than Kevlar, the material used in bulletproof jackets.
The Chiroteuthis squid typically lives between 700-2,000m (2,296-6,561ft) deep – the pressure at this depth is enough to snap human bones. They are blinded by white light so they had to be filmed in a refrigerated dark room.
South African audiences have access to five BBC TV channels: BBC Brit, BBC Lifestyle, BBC Earth, CBeebies and BBC World News.