Meet Two Filmmakers Who Devote Their Lives To Big Cats

One in eight: a male lion’s chance of reaching adulthood. As each bloodline fights for the right to rule, only the strongest males survive to become the kings of their prides. While lions are born in equal numbers, males to females, only 3,500 of the approximately 20,000 lions on Earth are males, the lucky survivors of natural selection.

Award-winning filmmakers and National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert have dedicated their careers to studying these lions. Filming, researching and exploring Africa for nearly 30 years, the two big cat experts’ documentation of unique predator behavior has resulted in 22 films, 10 books, five Emmys and a Peabody Award.

The Jouberts partnered with National Geographic to establish the Big Cats Initiative, an emergency action fund dedicated to driving attention to the decline of big cats’ populations. As lion numbers have dropped from 450,000 to 20,000 in 50 years, the Big Cats Initiative seeks to identify and develop real solutions to these animals’ catastrophic declines.

In Game of Lions, the Jouberts take us on a journey of the young males in the African bush from their births to their exile from their prides. Exploring the hidden lives of Africa’s surviving male lions, the film follows along as males roam the jungles in an effort to spread their bloodlines through the kingdom.

The life of a male lion is a game of kings, as each bloodline fights for its survival. Catch the Jouberts’ Game of Lions tonight at 10P.



  1. Sally Billman
    Winston-Salem, NC
    December 8, 2013, 1:06 pm

    I have watched and thoroughly enjoyed the Big Cats Week. It took some getting use to the lions eating other animals, yet the story conveying from the lions’ perspective enabled me to watch the killing.

    During the movies, noticing that the photographers were sometimes not too far from the lions they were filming, I had wondered if the lions had become familiar with the Jourberts? And if the lions had trusted them?
    The killing of the lion, the strongest and biggest, by a hunter who seemed to be about 50 yards away, also had me wondered if that lion was not afraid of the hunter? I did not know if that was a special case. Are hunters able to be in close range of a lion, that they killed?