This past week, the National Geographic Society played master of ceremonies for the premiere of Dereck and Beverly Joubert’s “The Last Lions”. The extraordinarily powerful documentary film by the award-winning couple focused on the plight of one lioness, Ma di Tau, and her determination to keep her three cubs safe and thriving despite numerous obstacles.
The film is lushly set in Botswana’s Okavango Delta region and provides a stunning backdrop to an even more dramatic story complete with animal battles over territory, brutal circle-of-life chronicles, and touching, often heartbreaking, mother-protector scenes.
But, the intent of the documentary is always clear throughout. Due to an ever-increasing human population in Africa, expanded housing development is forcing lion prides to compete with each other for smaller amounts of available territory. And, once a lion loses the battle, all remaining pride members must be eliminated in order to maintain proper bloodlines. For these reasons, lion populations have dramatically decreased in the last 50 years from 450,000 to approximately 20,000.
The film supports the National Geographic’s “Big Cats” series and ends with suggestions and donation pleas to help preserve the fragile ecosystem and rally for the lions.
The Botswana Tourism Organization along with the Alliance for Global Conservation partnered with the National Geographic Society to make this film and sponsored the premiere, which included an informative question and answer session with the filmmakers.
“The Last Lions” opened in theaters in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC this past Friday, February 18 and expands to other cities next month. Click here for more information and for a listing of theaters.
Check out our sustainable trips to Africa.