Spy in the Wild
Spy n the Wild airs on BBC1 John Downer Productions

Monkeys in the wild have been captured on film grieving for a robot baby they accepted as one of their own.

The new BBC show Spy in the Wild showcases the footage involving monkeys surrounding an artificial creature in an apparent state of mourning.

With one monkey putting its arm around a younger one as if to comfort them, the group look on despondently at the motionless fake baby monkey.

A perfect programme to watch for those missing Planet Earth II – the David Attenborough-narrated show that captured the nation's imaginations at the end of 2016 – producers of the new BBC series hide cameras inside life-like animal robots.

The hidden cameras seek to give a first-person view of how animals really behave and live in the wild, without the interference of human life.

Spy in the Wild, which explores the secret lives of some of the world's most fascinating animals, manages to capture all types of emotions, from grief and friendship to even empathy with other species.

It also shows the real-life animals interacting with the artificial creatures in ways that shocked producers, and may come as a surprise to viewers. And we'll also be treated to seeing what it is like for a baby crocodile travelling down a river in its mother's jaws.

Spy in the Wild
Spy in the Wild shows monkeys mourning for a fake baby robot BBC

Executive producer John Downer said: "We began to see that the cameras were not only recording, they were sometimes eliciting behaviour in a way that made you think.

"You were having that connection between the spy creature and the animal that you never get with any kind of filming, and so things would develop that you didn't expect."

Scientists who predicted what would happen to the robot prior to the show being aired previously thought it would be ripped apart by the animals in minutes – but that the realistic movements it made would be trusted by dogs. Looks like they've been proven wrong!

Other cameras used in the show resemble a walking crocodile, mobile tortoises and a female orangutan.

Spy in the Wild premieres on BBC1 at 8pm tomorrow night (12 January).