NAT GEO WILD GOES ON AN EPIC ADVENTURE WITH
ENTERTAINMENT PERSONALITY BILLY BUSH
TO FIGHT ILLEGAL RHINO POACHING IN "CHASING RHINOS"
"I'm not a guy who goes on nature hikes. I hate bugs and, frankly, I'm a little scared of the dark. But the opportunity to do something real makes the risk, the fear of the unknown, all worth it."
- Billy Bush
Chasing Rhinos with Billy Bush Premieres Sunday, October 13, 2013, at 9 PM ET/PT
On Nat Geo WILD
(Washington, DC - September 10, 2013) Take an entertainment personality afraid of bugs, put him in the jungle in Nepal with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and embed him on the front line of rhino conservation. For Billy Bush of "Access Hollywood," it's not the typical celebrity story.
In Chasing Rhinos with Billy Bush, premiering Sunday, October 13, 2013, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Nat Geo WILD, join Bush in an awe-inspiring adventure as he takes time off from his day job (red carpet meltdowns! hookups! trendspotting!) to fight the illegal poaching of greater one-horned rhinos. He'll accompany poaching patrols; fly an unmanned aerial vehicle; and participate in a race-against-time effort to catch, collar and release a wild adult rhino. (For more information, visit www.natgeowild.com and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/NGC_PR.)
Greater one-horned rhinos are being poached, even within the borders of protected national parks guarded by armed rangers. Just over 500 of these 12-foot-long, 3-ton living tanks survive in Nepal to this day, and their numbers are threatened due to poachers who are willing to profit at the rhinos' expense. A single rhino horn can fetch more than $30,000 on the black market, which is reason enough for poachers to slaughter this rare, beautiful and powerful species.
"We have an opportunity to do something really remarkable, and that is to raise some awareness. Most people I told about this mission said, 'there's rhinos in Nepal?'" said Bush.
WWF, the Chitwan National Park Rangers and the Nepali government have joined forces to combat illegal poaching and protect greater one-horned rhinos from extinction. Bush may be an unlikely addition, but he has the ability to spread media awareness of the dangers facing the rhinos to millions of people around the world. Bush risks life and limb in a land where nature poses countless dangers and armed poachers lurk in the trees, waiting for their opportunity to trap and kill a rhino.
Chasing Rhinos with Billy Bush tracks Bush's journey with WWF, which begins in bustling Kathmandu, where he investigates the rhino's role in Nepali society as a sacred, revered creature. From there he travels to Chitwan National Park, the last major rhino holdout in Nepal; they have been systematically poached to the verge of annihilation everywhere else in the country. Bush participates in river patrols around the perimeter of the park; a jungle patrol where he will come startlingly close to a poacher encampment; and a night patrol wherein unseen terrors - both animal and human - lurk in the darkness.
WWF's Sabita Malla, a young Nepali scientist, is Bush's guide in the field. She introduces Bush to the technology and methods used in the fight against poachers, which include unmanned aerial drones that will give the anti-poaching squads "eyes in the sky" and a leg up against poaching activity. Malla also brings Bush to an area where millions of dollars' worth of animal hides, bones and limbs are stored after being seized from poachers. Here, Bush will come face to face with the sobering casualties of this illegal trade in endangered wildlife.
Finally, Bush joins a team of soldiers, scientists and rangers mounted on elephants who will surround a rhino, tranquilize him and collar him while unconscious. It's a high-octane undertaking, with only 15 minutes to complete their job before the rhino wakes up, angry and confused. And despite his abundant charisma, Billy Bush is no match for a massive creature that can run faster than 30 miles per hour!
Chasing Rhinos with Billy Bush is produced for Nat Geo WILD by Market Road Films. For Market Road Films, executive producer is Tony Gerber. For Nat Geo WILD, executive producers are National Geographic Channels President Howard T. Owens and SVP of Program Development and Production Janet Han Vissering. In addition to appearing in the special, Billy Bush also serves as executive producer.
About Billy Bush
Named one of Esquire magazine's "10 Men," Billy Bush is anchor of the nationally syndicated daily entertainment newsmagazine "Access Hollywood," co-host of the daytime entertainment news talk show "Access Hollywood Live," and host of "The Billy Bush Show," a nationally syndicated talk and music radio show with Dial Global. He's covered countless high-profile red carpet events including the Golden Globes, Grammys and Academy Awards, in addition to reporting on the Olympic Games for NBC since 2004. Bush has been involved in philanthropic endeavors for several years, serving on Operation Smile's Board of Governors and the Board of Directors for the Lollipop Theater Network; however, his work with the World Wildlife Fund marks the first time he's physically immersed himself in an animal rights cause. In the Nat Geo WILD documentary Chasing Rhinos, Bush joins WWF in Nepal where he assisted with the efforts to research, protect and collar the endangered one-horn rhino.
About Nat Geo WILD
Experience the best, most intimate encounters with wildlife ever seen on television. Backed by its unparalleled reputation for quality and blue-chip programming, Nat Geo WILD is dedicated to providing a unique insight into the natural world, the environment and the amazing creatures that inhabit it. From the most remote environments, to the forbidding depths of our oceans, to the protected parks on our doorsteps, Nat Geo WILD will use spectacular cinematography and compelling storytelling to take viewers on unforgettable journeys into the wild world. Launched in 2006, Nat Geo WILD is part of National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) and is available in more than 90 countries and 100 million homes. Nat Geo WILD HD launched in the U.K. in March 2009, and is also available in Greece, Latin America, Poland, Spain and Russia. Further expansion is expected globally. For more information, please visit www.natgeotv.com.
About the World Wildlife Fund
WWF is the world's leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.