I really hate the emotional rollercoaster side of the wildlife filmmaking…
In July I was so happy to find her nest in a hammock forest.
The “Queen” as we call her…
She hasn’t got babies last year so hopes were high that she was going to become a mother this year and we could follow her adventures of raising gator babies in the cypress dome.
We started to check back on a regular base from the 22nd of August to catch the moment of hatching. We drove out every morning around sunrise and spent some time out there.
Gator hatching usually happens at dawn so if there was no activity until late morning we left.
She got used to us so so much that she didn’t care about us anymore and we could approach the nest very close… I mean really very close. It’s always so touching to earn the trust of a truly wild predator! You just stand there, she stares at you as she could read your mind… well, at least she knew well that we didn’t mean any threat. Actually I think at some point she even might have been quite bored of us!
But as September was approaching I felt that something must be wrong, but I just couldn’t give it up and I always extended the deadline of shutting down the whole operation.
Then 25 days after that we started the checking, she has abandonded her vantage spot. Finally we could walked up right to the nest and opened it up.
Well, the eggs were bad, never have been fertilized… 25 days, 5100km (3200miles) driving for nothing…
You still want to be a wildlife filmmaker?!
Anyway, I think we will tell the real story of this female in the film not making it up as if the babies were hatched.
Also the summer sunrises in the Everglades were unforgottable, we captured more than enough of them for the film.