Monday, November 25, 2013

Big Cat Week on Nat Geo WILD is Back with a Roar!

Strength, speed, agility and beauty are words that I would use to describe many, if not all, of the big cat species. As one of the world's most majestic predators, big cats are facing more danger than they are causing. These animals are incredible and one of the most beautiful species in the animal kingdom. Sadly, their numbers are rapidly declining as a result of habitat destruction, poaching, loss of prey, and trophy hunting. Creating awareness about these big cats and Causing an Uproar is something near and dear to my heart.

Dylan and I were thrilled when Nat Geo WILD asked is we would like to preview the new episodes for this year. I can't even begin to tell you how encouraging it is that National Geographic is continuing to shine a spotlight on these felines by bringing their stories into our homes with the Fourth Annual Big Cat Week. Talking about the Big Cat Initiative and Causing an Uproar is something that we try to do on a regular basis, so we are especially excited to share our thoughts on Nat Geo WILD's most-watched week for the past three years!

Big Cat Week kicks off on Friday, November 29, 2013 at 9 p.m. ET/PT with Man v Cheetah followed by Super Cat at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Both are great and really get you thinking about these magnificent cats.

What do you think will happen when Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson - the NFL's fastest running back - and Chicago Bears' Devin Hester - the super agile wide receiver and kick returner - participate in the first ever race with a cheetah? Cheetahs are built for speed, but could these athletes have an advantage over the cheetah or will Chris and Devin be left in the dust?
Who will win? Anything is possible on Man v Cheetah.

What if you could take the best feature of all the big cats and combine them to create the ultimate Super Cat? What would your Super Cat look like? Think about it ... the speed of a cheetah, the strength of a lion, the skill of a tiger, and the climbing ability of a leopard. That would be one amazing cat!

Saturday, November 30, 2013 features two more new episodes that will challenge your skills as the hunted and the hunter. Killer Queen is a captivating documentary that follows lioness Manyari's pride as they face the challenges of ensuring her cubs survival. Cougar v Wolf takes us on a journey with big cat wrangler Boone Smith as he tracks the cougar-wolf showdown through snow-covered mountains to pinpoint where the cougar-wolf conflicts occur the most often. Not something I would do ... a little too close for my comfort.

Small Roar - Photograph by Beverly Joubert 
Now it just wouldn't be Big Cat Week without a feature film from my favorite award-winning couple, Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Made exclusively for Nat Geo WILD, Game of Lions is nothing short of extraordinary. Young male lions must earn the right to be king and this film follows that fateful journey. The Jouberts have a style of storytelling unlike any other - their films are always moving and often heartbreaking - and at the same time unforgettable works of art. Game of Lions premieres on Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

I can't think of a better way to end Big Cat Week then with one of the most famous cougars of them all ... Betty White! Her love of animals, quick-witted humor, and pure passion to create awareness made Betty White Goes Wild! an absolute joy to watch. Not to mention that she was visiting my two favorite places - the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It was wonderful to see Betty interacting with the big cats that we know and love, especially Izu and Oshana.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn more about the world's most extraordinary big cat species.

Stay connected and join the conversation by following Nat Geo WILD on twitter and Facebook. You can also follow the hashtags #BigCatWeek and #CauseanUproar

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