Tune in alert for the Fourth Annual Big Cat Week which Kicks Off with Man v. Cheetah on Friday, November 29, 2013, at 9 PM ET/PT on Nat Geo WILDFrom NGW
They are nature’s most majestic predators that face more danger than they pose. All members of the world’s big cat species, including lions, tigers, cheetahs, jaguars, cougars and more are known for their incredible strength, speed, agility and beauty. And this November, Nat Geo WILD will once again welcome them into our homes to give them their turn in the spotlight.
Beginning Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, at 9 pm ET/PT, Nat Geo WILD presents the Fourth Annual Big Cat Week, the network’s most-watched week for the past three years, to dramatically showcase the world’s most extraordinary big cat species. Kicking off this year’s week with Nat Geo WILD is Man v. Cheetah with Tennessee Titans’ Chris Johnson — the NFL’s fastest running back — and Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester — the super-agile wide receiver and kick returner — both taking part in an extraordinary challenge to literally go one-on-one in a first-ever race with a cheetah at Busch Gardens Tampa’s Cheetah Run attraction.
To prepare the cheetahs for the race, Busch Gardens Tampa trainers used training techniques to help familiarize the cats with new experiences, such as running next to a trainer separated by an 11-foot wall, and cameras high above the habitat. A month before race day, the trainers began working with the cheetahs conducting sprints using the same motorized lure system they were already using to stimulate the cats’ natural instinct to chase.
Additionally, National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence and renowned filmmakers Beverly & Dereck Joubert present another stunning film from the bushes of Africa, Game of Lions; and big cat wrangler Boone Smith goes deep into a mysterious battle raging in the American heartland in Cougar v. Wolf. And our favorite cougar, Betty White, also joins us this week in her special, Betty White Goes Wild!
More than a television event, BIG CAT WEEK is an extension of the Big Cats Initiative, a long-term commitment by the National Geographic Society to stop poaching, save habitat and sound the call that big steps are needed to save big cats around the world. This global initiative actively supports on-the-ground conservation projects and education to help stem and eventually reverse the rapid disappearance of big cat populations. For more information on BIG CAT WEEK, visit www.natgeowild.com/bigcatweek or follow us on twitter @NGC_PR. More information on the Big Cats Initiative and how you can get involved, visit www.causeanuproar.com.
Premiere episodes include:
Man v. Cheetah Premieres Friday, November 29, 2013, at 9 p.m. ET/PT Take nature’s fastest land mammal vs. two of the quickest and most elusive athletes in all of professional sports: who wins ... and what shocking secrets are revealed? Nat Geo WILD gets a front row seat as the Tennessee Titans’ Chris Johnson — the NFL’s fastest running back — and the Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester — the super-agile wide receiver and kick returner — take part in an extraordinary first-ever one-on-one challenge against a cheetah. It’s the race of a lifetime that has never been attempted before as cheetahs from Busch Gardens Tampa’s Cheetah Run attraction race NFL’s finest. Who will win? Could a human beat the animal kingdom’s fastest cat? Anything is possible.
Super Cat Premieres Friday, November 29, 2013, at 10 p.m. ET/PT Take Kobe Bryant’s ability to jump, add Michelle Kwan’s grace and beauty, then mix well with Stephen Hawking’s problem-solving genius — and you’ve got the recipe for Super Cat. We’ve combined the most amazing features of big cats to showcase the most awe-inspiring capabilities ever seen in action. Watch this ultimate feline live all nine lives as its superpowers of strength, endurance and stealth are put to the test.
Killer Queen Premieres Saturday, November 30, 2013, at 9 p.m. ET/PT Soon after the summer rains have fallen, lioness Manyari’s pride faces trouble when two nomadic males seek a pride of their own to lead. With a sixth sense for imminent trouble, Manyari makes a bid to escape to ensure the survival of her young cubs. Forced to fend for herself and her cubs alone in the wild, Manyari sacrifices her own security for her offspring’s safety. Constantly looking for food and shelter, and doing her best to stay out of marauders’ lines of sight, this former queen and her cubs make the odyssey to find safety and security.
Cougar v. Wolf Premieres Saturday, November 30, 2013, at 10 p.m. ET/PT Wolves and cougars are increasingly at war because wolf packs continue to multiply and spread into parts of the Rocky Mountains dominated for decades by cougars. Now, big cat wrangler Boone Smith tracks the most recent wolf and cat skirmishes as he delves into why these two big predators carry on the cats vs. dogs rivalry. In his big cat forensic investigation, Boone’s goal is to pinpoint the places where cougar-wolf conflicts most often occur by gathering clues about each creature’s hunting, feeding and fighting behaviors. Boone applies all the skills he’s acquired tracking big cats around the world to unravel the truth about what happens in a cougar v. wolf showdown.
Game of Lions Premieres Sunday, December 1, 2013, at 10 p.m. ET/PT From award-winning filmmakers and National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert comes their next feature film, exclusively for Nat Geo WILD. According to Dereck Joubert, there are 20,000 lions left on Earth. Only 3,500 of those are males. Although they are born at a 50/50 ratio, by the time they reach maturity, only one in eight male lions survive. We follow the journey of the lives of young males in the African bush and their potential to be king. From the birth of a male to his exile from his pride, our cameras follow along as males roam the jungles in an effort to spread their bloodlines through the kingdom. The Jouberts take an unflinching look at what happens to these lions in this spirited, moving and heartbreaking film.
Betty White Goes Wild! Premieres Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at 9 p.m. ET/PT “If it hadn’t been for Hollywood, I’d have fulfilled my other childhood dream … to be a zookeeper,” says Betty White when speaking about her love for animals. We take a rare look into one of White’s true passions — big cats! Head with her to the Los Angeles and San Diego zoos to get up close to big cats. White weaves her natural wit as we look at the cats’ individual behavioral traits and learn where they live, how many are left in the wild and the challenges they face.
Additional programming to air during Big Cat Week includes Swamp Lions, Cat Wars, The Last Lions, Built for Kill: Lions, Tiger Dynasty, Lion Army, Cheetah: Fatal Instinct and Lion Battle Zone.