Nat Geo Wild will host its fifth annual “Big Cat Week” in November, Variety has learned exclusively. The week-long television event will consist of five special programs that examine felines of the wild in their natural, constantly changing habitats.
“ ‘Big Cat Week’ is the definition of how we can bring the intense lives of these majestic predators into viewers’ homes and hearts,” said Geoff Daniels, exec VP and general manager, Nat Geo Wild. “These animals have been the object of our fascination and fears for years, but now they need our help more than ever.”
Leading off the event, “Dinner With Big Cats” features cat tracker Boone Smith as he is placed inside an enclosure during a pride of lions’ feeding time. Alongside scientist Luke Dollar, Smith will analyze the traits and patterns that help lions hunt their prey, revealing how strong a lion’s jaw is, how much weight it can pull and how high it can jump.
“One way to build awareness is to actually demonstrate and measure the lion’s skill set. Getting close enough to do this safely is the challenge and this I hope is one of the solutions,” said Smith in a statement.
The other four programs premiering during “Big Cat Week” aim to explore different species of big cats in different parts of the world.
“Future Cats” looks at how limited resources and geographical changes may affect the evolution of cats and their behavior over time. “Fishing Leopards” documents the trials that a family of leopards in Botswana endures as the cubs age. “Tiger’s Revenge” follows the rivalry of two sister tigers in the forests of India as they compete over territory and a mate. “Leap of the Lynx” follows the endangered Iberian lynx as it roams the landscapes of southern Spain.
“Big Cat Week” is an extension of the Big Cats Initiative, an effort by the National Geographic Society to bring attention to the felines around the world. The campaign supports conservation projects and public awareness used to stop poaching, reverse population decreases and save the habitats of the threatened animals.