The Last Lions


In a March 2011 interview on NPR‘s Fresh Air, Dereck and Beverly Joubert spoke about The Last Lions, their new National Geographic documentary filmed in Botswana. There is also a companion book. Click on the audio player below to hear a two-minute clip in which Dereck relates a tender and poignant moment in the film.

Dereck and Beverly Joubert

Here is more information on the movie and the filmmakers from an article in the Santa Barbara Independent:

[Dereck and Beverly Joubert’s] National Geographic documentary is a stunningly beautiful, powerful story about a mother lion’s fight to protect her cubs.

The world’s lions are dying out and being killed off, the Jouberts told me over breakfast Saturday. In my lifetime, the lion population has drastically dwindled from about 450,000 to the present 20,000. If I live 10 more years, lions may have all but vanished from the earth.

If that’s not bad enough, “We are losing open space at an alarming rate,” Beverly told me. Loss of habitat is one reason for the decline of the lion, along with poaching, pesticides, shooting by livestock herders and other factors, naturalists say.

To make The Last Lions and their other wildlife films, they spend up to two years in the bush in a tent, shooting 18 hours a day, then return to their base camp to download their work. “It’s hard work,” she said.

Their film is so remarkable that you feel that the lions — tough females, threatening males, and dangerous buffalo herds — are just across the street, but it’s all done with long lenses and patience, she said. “We will never intervene” with the sometimes savage battles that mark the survival of the fittest.

The Jouberts have been filming, researching, and exploring in Africa for over 25 years. Their coverage has resulted in 22 films, 10 books, six scientific papers, and many articles for National Geographic magazine, five Emmys, a Peabody, the World Ecology Award, and the recent induction into the American Academy of Achievement.

Dereck and Beverly Joubert at work

Click here to view all my animal-related posts.


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