Lion Guardians featured in the new BBC Nature series “Africa”

By Eric Ole Kesoi

We are pleased to share the news that the Lion Guardians program will be featured in an upcoming episode of the BBC series Africa (February 6th  in the U.K. and Februrary 9th in the U.S.). Inclusion in any BBC Nature program is a great honor but we are especially proud to be featured in Episode Six, The Future, which highlights several promising and innovative conservation initiatives underway to protect Africa’s iconic wildlife and wilderness areas. Filming of the Lion Guardians’ approach to conservation took place last October. The BBC film crew spent several days with us and captured some amazing footage. The segment even includes footage shot by our own biologist and photographer Philip J. Briggs!

The Lion Guardians team was honored to work some of the  greatest nature filmmakers in the world.

The Lion Guardians team was honored to work some of the
greatest nature filmmakers in the world.

Caption: The Lion Guardians team was honored to work some of the
greatest nature filmmakers in the world.

Olubi Lairumbe was chosen as the featured Lion Guardian, and Eric Ole Kesoi served as his translator. Olubi is one of our senior Lion Guardians and has been working with us since the programs inception in early 2007.  The highlight of Olubi’s experience working with the BBC crew came when he was filmed from a hovering helicopter as he tracked lions on the beautiful Kopjes (isolated rock outcroppings) at the at the foot of the Chyulu Hills range.

Olubi tracking lions viewed from above.

Olubi tracking lions using telemetry signals from their collars.

For the rest of the team, the highlight of the shoot came with the arrival of Sir David Attenborough.

Sir David Attenborough learning about the Lion Guardians program from Lion Guardian Olubi

Sir David Attenborough learning about the Lion Guardians program from Lion Guardian Olubi

The world renowned naturalist spent the day conversing with the Lion Guardians about their unique approach to lion conservation and accompanied the team to one of the Lion Guardians’ bomas to witness the presentation of (and reactions to) our newly minted identification cards of the Lions of the Amboseli Ecosystem, which we hope will breed even more familiarity between the local Maasai and the lions that share their ecosystem.

The new “Lions of the Amboseli Ecosystem” Trading Cards.

The new “Lions of the Amboseli Ecosystem” Trading Cards.

After his visit to the boma, Sir David was presented with his very own fimbo – a walking stick used by Maasai warriors, which he seemed extremely pleased with.

Even guests at the neighboring Gamewatchers Amboseli Porini camp, where the film crew stayed, were thrilled at the opportunity to interact with Sir David.

Episode Six will air in the U.K on BBC 1 on February 6th at 21:00 and in the U.S on Discovery Channel on February 9th at 10:00/9c.   We also have received unconfirmed reports that the series will also begin airing in Australia on Channel Ten on February 16th. Please do not miss this exciting series and share your thoughts on the program with us afterwards on our Facebook page.

If you like what you have seen, please remember that we need your support to continue our work to save the dwindling African lion population and to secure a better future for both lions and the Maasai. Please make a donation to show your support and appreciation for what we do.

 

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