Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Slow TV project follows Sweden’s elk for 450 hours

The elk have followed the same route for thousands of years. File photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix /..

By Sunday Herald Team , in World Update , at April 18, 2019

The elk have followed the same route for thousands of years. File photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix / TT

Every spring for around 9,000 years, hundreds of elk have crossed the same river to migrate to summer pastures. This year it's possible to watch their journey from start to finish, thanks to a major 'slow TV' project by Sweden's national broadcaster.

The animals travel from the coast where they spend the winter to their summer grazing spot near the foot of the mountains, by swimming across the Ångermanälven in Jämtland once the ice has melted.

Trapping pits in the area show that people have watched the animals make this journey for centuries, and this year the journey will be recorded by 22 unmanned cameras linked up to a nearby control room.

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The programme, titled Den stora älgvandringen (The Great Elk Trek), had its premiere on Monday and the elks' journey will be broadcast live 24/7 until May 2nd, making it the first independent slow TV project by Swedish broadcaster SVT. Planning took an entire year.

Highlights from the footage, plus commentary, will also be shown in three one-hour segments on nature programme Mitt i Naturen (In the midst of nature), with the first episode broadcast on Thursday.

You can watch the programme here.

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