- Sir David Attenborough, 88, filmed bat colony while hanging 250ft in the air
- Determined to carry on working despite knee replacement and pacemaker
- Filmed the tricky shot in a cave in Borneo for new television series
- Never wants to stop working and says has had 'good fortune' in his career
Hoisted 250ft in the air on the end of a tangle of ropes, Sir David Attenborough shows you’re never too old for a tricky camera shot.
The 88-year-old naturalist has had a knee replacement and a heart pacemaker fitted but none of that was going to stop his latest assignment – filming a huge bat colony in Borneo.
Filming Sky series Conquest of the Skies, Sir David travelled to the Gomantong cave in Borneo, home to around a million bats that emerge in a huge flock each dusk to go hunting for insects.
For this spectacular sequence, shot in 3D, he was winched up on a rope pulley and spoke to a camera fixed to a flying drone known as an ‘octocopter’.
Sir David said: ‘In the cave you can feel the pressure build as bats emerge from the depths, from up to a mile away in the blackness.
'They gather in an chamber just before the entrance and the crowd grows bigger and bigger into a huge maelstrom, almost a whirlpool of bats, wanting to get out to feed on the insects but not daring to while it’s still daylight because there are bat hawks out there.
‘Eventually one makes a break for it, and then they all go out, thousands of them, finding safety in numbers because there only about five bat hawks.’
He added: ‘I have been in the Gomantong bat cave before, but this time was a highlight: I was winched on ropes 250 feet above the cave floor, and with the octocopter in front of me, did a piece to camera with a million bats flying past on their way out of the cave to hunt.’
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