GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH SOME OF AFRICA'S MOST ICONIC PREDATORS IN
UNPRECEDENTED MILITARY-GRADE NIGHTVISION FILMING BRINGS VIEWERS INSIDE THE SECRET NOCTURNAL WORLD OF AFRICA'S MOST PROFICIENT HUNTERS
NOW STREAMING EXCLUSIVELY ON SMITHSONIAN EARTH
NEW YORK - March 31, 2017 - In Zambia's Luangwa Valley, lions, leopards and hyenas roam the national park's vast untouched wilderness, living in constant competition for their next meal. Smithsonian Earth invites viewers into this world-renowned wildlife haven to witness the around-the-clock challenges for survival of some of Africa's fiercest predators - often manifesting into stolen kills, intimidation and even cub snatching. The series, shot in 4K, goes beyond the kills, offering an extraordinary glimpse into the family dramas of these wild animals as they build allegiances, fight for family, suffer the loss of offspring and search for mates. New episodes of AFRICA'S HUNTERS will premiere on Smithsonian Earth each Friday, starting today, March 31. Smithsonian Earth is available on Apple(R), Roku(R), Amazon, and at SmithsonianEarthTV.com.
Using rare state-of-the-art, military-grade thermal cameras, AFRICA'S HUNTERS tracks every movement of wildlife in Luangwa National Park, through the long, harsh dry seasons, when prey are easy pickings, and the washed-out wet seasons that blanket the valley in green. This is a predator's world, home to multiple prides of rival lions and the highest density of leopards in the world. Stationed on location for two years, using cameras equipped with long lenses and no lights, the team is able to virtually go unnoticed, giving viewers an authentic look into the natural activities of Africa's iconic predators. These practiced hunters are filmed 24/7 as they search for their next meal and struggle to raise their young. New technology allows the filmmakers to document rarely seen behaviors as the carnivores stalk their prey, fight for their territory and intimidate their rivals in the battleground that is Luangwa Valley.
The premiere episode, AFRICA'S HUNTERS: THE HUNGRY LEOPARD, follows the journey of Kamuti who, at 13, is one of the oldest leopards in Africa. Old age brings many challenges, including hunting antelope and keeping a watchful eye on the lion pride nearby. With new technology and producers camped in close proximity for months at a time, the veil is lifted on the secret world of this enigmatic nocturnal predator for the first time, highlighting her search for prey and her powers of protection. The episode will stream for free online at https://smithsonianearthtv.com/programs/africas-hunters/.
Subsequent episodes of AFRICA'S HUNTERS are:
A LEOPARD'S LAST STAND
Premieres Friday, April 7
For 10 years, Kamuti the leopard has reigned supreme over her corner of Zambia's Luangwa Valley. She's defended her territory, hunted antelope for food, and even kept the nearby pride of lions at bay, but a younger leopard is determined to replace her. Can she survive one more challenge, or will this be her last stand?
BOUND BY BLOOD
Premieres Friday, April 14
Three powerful and aggressive lions have their sights set on the Nsefu pride. They intend to oust the males, kill the cubs and take over the females. If the pride has any chance of staying together and saving its cubs from certain death, it will have to rely on the ancient bonds: family and blood.
Premieres Friday, April 21
A 3-month old lion cub becomes separated from his pride and has to face the nighttime terrors of the African bush alone. From cub-hungry predators and dehydration, to rival lions instinctively primed to kill, can this intrepid little misfit find his way back to safety?
Premieres Friday, April 28
The Nsefu pride of Zambia is in an enviable position: new cubs, the best territory on the Luangwa River and strong males to protect them. But as the cubs grow into teenagers, the stakes are raised as they begin to learn their roles - where every mistake can threaten the very existence of their family.
SURVIVORS OF THE PLAINS
Premieres Friday, May 5
In hyena society, the females call the shots, and they're the ones charged with making difficult decisions. When drought pushes a spotted hyena clan to the brink of starvation, the matriarch has a call to make. Should the clan stay near the den and wait for rain, or set out in search of a nourishing kill?
AFRICA'S HUNTERS is executive produced by James Smith and Martha Holmes of Plimsoll Productions. Tria Thalman and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Earth.
Smithsonian Earth is a subscription streaming video service specializing in original nature and wildlife programming shot in stunning 4K Ultra HD resolution that's available through Apple(R), Roku(R), Amazon, and at SmithsonianEarthTV.com.
Smithsonian Networks(TM) is a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Networks operates Smithsonian Earth, through SN Digital LLC. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Channel, the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing entertainment across multiple platforms. To learn more, go to www.smithsonianchannel.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram