Nat Geo Wild will screen a ‘Big Cat Week’ from January 25-31, with seven documentaries each night at 8.30pm.
The 2021 version marks the 10th ‘Big Cat Week’ and highlights National Geographic Society’s commitment to conservation through its Big Cats Initiative, which supports on-the-ground research and effort to help protect Big Cats and their habitats.
Big cats are facing big challenges. Leopards now occupy just 25-37 percent of their historic range, and six of the nine subspecies of leopard are now in significant trouble.
For many big cat populations, extinctions are imminent due to habitat loss, degradation and conflicts with humans.
The National Geographic Society has a long history of raising awareness of the plight of big cats and supporting impactful conservation efforts across the planet.
Its Big Cats Initiative partners with National Geographic Wild for its widely recognized Big Cat Week programming event. The annual programming event on National Geographic Wild displays the majesty and might of these animals.
Additionally, the programming works hand-in-hand to highlight the work the National Geographic Society is doing to protect big cats and their habitats through the Big Cat Initiative with Derek and Beverly Joubert.
‘Big Cat Week’ will begin on Monday January 25 at 8.30pm AEDT on National Geographic Wild, with ‘Jade Eyed Leopard’, from world-renowned big-cat filmmakers, National Geographic Explorers and co-founders of the Big Cat Initiative Beverly and Dereck Joubert and narrated by the Academy® Award-winning and Emmy® Award-nominated actor Jeremy Irons (“Watchmen,” “The Lion King”).
The one-hour special transports viewers to an idyllic paradise, where for the first time ever, National Geographic cameras capture the story of a young leopard, Toto, during the critical first three years of her life.
Viewers follow this cub with deep aquamarine eyes – an exceptionally rare trait – and experience her challenges and triumphs firsthand as Toto learns the fundamental skills of survival and makes her passage to adulthood.
Jade Eyed Leopard (Monday, January 25, 8.30pm AEDT)
Her name is “Toto,” Swahili for small, with the most striking, bright, aquamarine eyes. She was born under a safari camp tent in the Maasai Mara in Kenya. JADE EYED LEOPARD, narrated by Emmy-nominated and Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons (“Watchmen”), reveals the first three years of Toto’s life as she learns the fundamental skills of survival and makes her passage to adulthood. World-renowned filmmakers, National Geographic Explorers and big cat conservationists Dereck and Beverly Joubert uncover Toto’s tale with stunning perspective — shot in pristine 4K and seldom-before-seen thermal night vision views.
Frozen Kingdom of the Snow Leopard (Tuesday, January 26, 8.30pm AEDT)
Shot over three years in China’s Qhinghai Mountains and with never-before-seen footage, The Frozen Kingdom of the Snow Leopard tells the story of a devout female snow leopard who settles into an unfamiliar valley to give birth and raise her two cubs despite incredible odds.
Tiger Queen of Taru (Wednesday January 27, 8.30pm AEDT)
Filmed over six years, the story of Maya the tigress plays out in a tiger reserve in Tadoba, Central India. Here, Bengal tigers chase wild dogs, fight sloth bears and feud among themselves over bloodlines and territory in never-before seen footage. Maya writes her own rules when it comes to raising a litter, yet motherhood does not come easy. One thing is clear, Maya will do whatever it takes to secure her bloodline within the Kingdom of Taru.
Diary of a Teen Leopard (Thursday January 28, 8.30pm AEDT)
Pemba is a Mamma’s Boy! At two-years old, he should be independent, but he’s still living at home! Like most teenagers, he’s impatient and headstrong, which makes him bad at stalking and hunting, so Mom provides all their meals. But when Mom is injured Pemba is forced to grow up fast in order to survive! Can he sever those apron strings and face his fears to launch into adulthood?
A Leopard’s Legacy (Friday, January 29, 8.30pm AEDT)
A confident and powerful leopardess named Olimba, rules over an exceptionally large area along Zambia’s Luangwa river. She is a formidable hunter, a courageous ruler, and a devoted mother. She’s just given birth to two tiny cubs, and as she faces the challenging task of motherhood, it’s a constant battle to hunt successfully, to defend her prime territory, and to protect her cubs against her enemies. During their first few months, the cubs go from strength to strength, as Olimba introduces them to the world of a carnivore. But whenever she goes out hunting, she leaves them vulnerable. One day, Olimba discovers a nomadic male leopard near her cubs, and without hesitation, she attacks him. He makes a lucky escape, but when Olimba returns to the den, one of her cubs is gone. As she comes to terms with her loss, Olimba forges on as a devoted mother, and passes on all her knowledge to her blue-eyed boy, named Makumbi. When he’s a year old and succeeds in hunting his own prey, Olimba parts ways with her son. But their final hostile encounter leaves the youngster vulnerable, with a dreadful eye injury. His resilience and fighting spirit see him through, and despite his blind eye, he turns into a strong-willed hunter.
Leopard & Hyena: Strange Alliance (Saturday, January 30, 8.30pm AEDT)
When Toni, a young male hyena is expelled from his clan, he forms an unexpected hunting partnership with Mahri, a female leopard. But predator enemies are waiting to drive a wedge between them. After an explosive attack from wild dogs, Toni must decide between returning to Mahri or joining a clan of his own.
Cecil: The Legacy of a King (Sunday January 31, 8.30pm AEDT)
This incredible special follows the life and legacy of one of the world’s most famous lions – Cecil. The ultimate big cat king, Cecil was a warrior, a father and a loyal brother. But his untimely death at the hands of an illegal hunt – spelled the end of his extraordinary reign; evoking feelings of fury and sadness to all who heard his tale across the globe. This special will look at the life of the lion behind the headlines, it will look at his pride before and after his death as well as how he came to be Africa’s ultimate king of the beasts.