Third Annual BIG CAT WEEK on Nat Geo WILD Begins Sunday Dec. 9th, 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
Nat Geo WILD’s Most – Watched Week Returns with Five Nights of Premieres, Including First–Ever Capture and Release of an Endangered Snow Leopard in Afghanistan
Full schedule of BIG CAT WEEK:channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/big-cat-week/series/big-cat-week/episode-guide/
Dereck and Beverly Joubert’s films to be featured:
- “The Last Lions” on Monday Dec. 10th 8 p.m. ET and
- “The Unlikely Leopard” on Thursday Dec. 13th 8 p.m. ET
“The Last Lions,” produced by award–winning filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, captures the desperate plight of big cats — especially lions — in Africa. Filmed at Duba Plains, their home base in the Okavango Delta of Botswana, the Jouberts’ film is a call to action to save African lions. Fifty years ago, there were 450,000 lions across Africa and today as few as 20,000 remain in the wild.
The Jouberts followed lioness Ma di Tau (“Mother of Lions”) for seven years to create their 2011 documentary. Recently interviewed by Lara Logan for CBS “60 Minutes,” the Jouberts led the TV crew on an expedition to find Ma di Tau’s surviving cub. Watch the broadcast, also filmed on location at Duba Plains in Botswana, here:www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50135741n
“The Unlikely Leopard,” the Jouberts’ 2012 documentary, is a fun story about coming of age in the African wild. It is also a part of Nat Geo WILD’s Big Cats Initiative to “Cause an Uproar” to save big cats, which are in greater danger now than ever before. Fifty years ago leopards numbered 700,000. Today there may be as few as 50,000. These top predators are quickly disappearing. The loss of these majestic animals also means that the natural balance of entire environments is destroyed. “The Unlikely Leopard” was filmed near the famous Selinda Reserve in Botswana.
BIG CAT WEEK is an extension of the Big Cats Initiative (BCI), a long–term commitment founded by the Jouberts with the National Geographic Society to stop poaching, save habitats and sound the call that big steps are needed to save big cats around the world.
To address this critical situation, Nat Geo WILD is asking people to “Cause an Uproar” and support BCI. This year’s BIG CAT WEEK will follow a series of fall activities, including the creation of the National Geographic Big Cats Sister School Program, which pairs U.S. schools with schools in Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana under the shared theme of big cat conservation.
Follow Explorers–in–Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert on Twitter @dereckbeverly
The New York Times
“‘The Last Lions’ is a worthy, intensive labor of love that took years to shoot and edit, and it’s also more gripping than a lot of recent Hollywood thrillers.”
Los Angeles Times
“It goes without saying that their [filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert] latest effort, ‘The Last Lions,’ is mightily impressive to look at.”
The Washington Post
“The tale has all the trappings of a good Jack London novel, including fearsome villains, such as a scar–faced buffalo leading a pack of its one–ton brethren, as well as a one–eyed lioness, well–known for killing the cubs of her enemies.”
Beverly Joubert: “Once people can get to know a leopard the way we do, the great individual character and personality, they’ll understand why it’s so important to protect these cats in Africa.”
Our Amazing Planet
“Beautifully shot, impeccably edited and skillfully written, actor Jeremy Irons’ narration — which is delivered with both gravitas and understated British humor — adds a final bit of sparkle to an already arresting film.”
Bill Weir of ABC Nightline visits the Jouberts in Botswana to see what has become of the star feline from “The Unlikely Leopard.”