France 2 brings people and animals together in a “Meeting in an unknown country” in the middle of the savannah

We knew “Koh-Lanta”, where strangers survive each other on a deserted island, “La Ferme Celebrities”, where stars experience life on the farm, “Rendez-vous en terre historique”, where personalities go to meet isolated tribes… Here are “Animal instinct”, on France 2, where a star will live several days in direct contact with wild animals to reconnect with his share of wildlife. The actress Julie De Bona is the first to rub herself with the exercise.

“By observing the animals, we realize that the balance is fragile”, assures 20 minutes Nicolas Daniel, magazine director of France Télévisions. “The big question at the moment is asking whether our behavior is appropriate, especially when we know that we have a lifestyle that is not ecologically sustainable. “That’s why this new program is out of whack Meeting in an unknown country animal version “projects a personality in the middle of nature and surrounded by wild animals” and observes him adapting, being surprised and moved by the life that unfolds around him or her. “It passes above all through feelings and senses”, states the specialist in full nature immersion Perrine Crosmary. Because unlike a meeting between humans, there is no way to communicate directly with these species.

With “Animal Instinct”, public service aims to combine people and ecology, in a film where the meeting is driven by the emotions of the various stakeholders. “When you’re in the savannah without a vehicle, you quickly realize that you’re neither very strong nor very competent,” affirms host Diego Buñuel.

Become an “animal among animals”

Perrine Crosmary, co-host of the show, is delighted to have been able to live the experience for the first time in Africa without an armed guard. A way for the trio to be confronted with a nature “that we’ve learned to be wary of”, deplores this wildlife lover, who has been a safari guide for seven years. “We consider nature either as a resource or as a place to recharge the batteries,” she points out. We forgot that it is also the place where between 8 and 20 million cohabitants live…”

No wonder Julie De Bona was initially scared to face a group of lions circling zebras in the first minutes of the program. “When she arrived, everything scared her,” laughs Diego Buñuel.

But the two weeks of filming changed the actress, who in turn became “an animal among animals”. The emotions that Julie De Bona goes through follow each other in contact with elephants, hippos, giraffes… “In the end it was Rambo”, still laughs the one who becomes the face of a new formula of “Thalassa” in 2023.

Humans and animals, not so different

“Animal Instinct” has been in the works for almost two years and is designed as a hybrid between animal documentary and immersive program. “We are always looking for new ways to tell things and involve people in our stories”, insists Nicolas Daniel.

Closer to wildlife, the show repeatedly builds bridges with humans. Gender construction, social life or relationships between parents and children are all themes that are approached through the prism of animals. “When we wrote the program, the main idea was to see how animals could teach us things about ourselves,” says Diego Buñuel.

In a particularly astonishing sequence, Perrine Crosmary tells us that she has long been inspired by the hyena, an animal that does not yet enjoy a particularly good reputation in the human mind. A bad image boosted by the group of hyenas Lion King. “However, she is the incarnation of the perfect woman,” laments the specialist. “They organize themselves in matriarchal societies, with women at the head of the clans. Their genitalia are unique and they must consent to reproduce. She says that at a time in her life when she felt bad about herself, this animal was a great source of inspiration for her, embodying “a relaxed femininity-masculinity”.

“We can be natural disruptors”

With animal instinct, France Télévisions hopes to establish a new agreement. The various speakers also ensure that, beyond Tanzania, many experiments are possible to further explore the animal world. “Already for this first shoot I was like an animal on a leash, there are so many opportunities to discover and experience things in nature”, rejoices Perrine Crosmary. For his part, Diego Buñuel is already talking about Asia or Australia as potential destinations.

But beyond the target in terms of audience, they hope to spark a reflection in the minds of viewers. “It is a new program that gives a different view of animals and humanity. And these two worlds that we wanted to separate, we have to unite them,” he adds.

More radically, Perrine Crosmary hopes that “Animal instinct” will break down barriers: “Already between humans, but also with other species…” In this way, this nature lover believes that it is our relationship with biodiversity that can be changed permanently. “You have to get rid of the guilt of being a person who destroys. We can be natural troublemakers, which is not a negative, by trying to become aware of the good we can do by producing something positive. »

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