Planet Earth 2: Snake v iguana chase was "too horrific to show" in full

Planet Earth 2 Snake v iguana

Planet Earth 2 amazed us all on Sunday with its scenes of packs of racer snakes hunting baby iguanas.

An astonishing 9.2 million viewers watched the first episode of the new BBC One wildlife documentary, which comes a decade after its first series.

The opening episode focused on islands and one scene captured never before seen behaviour of racer snakes as they preyed on newly hatched baby iguana hatchlings on Isla Fernandina in the Galápagos.

The stunning film has been met with near universal acclaim, but now producers have revealed a dark secret.

Planet Earth 2 Snake v iguana
Planet Earth 2 Snake v iguana

While we watched on as one plucky baby iguana escaped from the jaws of death quite literally, scenes cut from the show didn't end so happily.

Producer Elizabeth White explained how shots dropped from the episode showed the racer snakes were far from working as a team.

"Some of it was quite horrific," she admitted. "Because actually the snakes are not pack hunting – for the snakes, it’s very much every snake for themselves.

"We did see snakes eating other snakes and all fighting. We were like nah, that can’t go in. It’s too horrific!"

Elizabeth confessed that filming the scenes was "a massive adrenaline buzz" and she was always cheering on the iguanas to escape.

"The thing is, the iguanas are so beautiful, you’re looking at them through the binoculars, and you can see their little faces, they’re so perfect, and yet within a few minutes, they’re dinner," she said.

Speaking about the clips that did make the final cut, Elizabeth told GQ magazine: “The shot where the little one gets away – we only saw that once.

"It was literally in that writhing ball of snakes, and it got out. That’s an example where the focus [of the camera] isn’t amazing, where the cameraman is literally rolling on it, and doesn’t want to ruin the shot, so the focus is a bit off.

"But it’s such a powerful moment that, obviously, it went into the film.”

Planet Earth 2 airs Sundays at 8PM on BBC One.

Subscribe on YouTube