From the lush wetlands of Botswana’s Okavango Delta comes the suspense-filled tale of a determined lioness ready to try anything—and willing to risk everything—to keep her family alive. In the latest documentary by acclaimed wildlife filmmaker, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, The Last Lions follow the epic journey of a lioness named Ma di Tau (“Mother of Lions”) as she battles to protect her cubs against a daunting onslaught of enemies in order to ensure their survival.
The gripping real-life saga of Ma di Tau, her cubs, the buffalo, and the rival pride unfolds inside a stark reality: Lions are vanishing from the wild. In the last 50 years, lion populations have plummeted from 450,000 to as few as 20,000. Dereck and Beverly Joubert weave their dramatic storytelling and breathtaking, up-close footage around a resonating question: Are Ma di Tau and her young to be among the last lions? Or will we as humans, having seen how tough, courageous and poignant their lives in the wild are, be moved to make a difference?
It is the plight of big cats that attracts their major effort today. Dereck and Beverly established the Big Cats Initiative, a program with National Geographic designed as an emergency action fund to drive the world’s attention to big cats and to develop real solutions to stop the decline that has seen lion numbers drop from 450,000 to 20,000 in 50 years.
“We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to big cats,” says Dereck. “They are in such a downward spiral that if we hesitate now, we will be responsible for extinctions across the globe. If there was ever a time to take action, it is now.”
Watch The Last Lions trailer above and National Geographic will contribute $.10 for each viewing until the video hits one million YouTube views. To find out more about The Last Lions as well as the declining population of lions in Africa, click here.
Filmmaking for them has always been a way to bring the message of conservation to audiences, and it is estimated that over a billion viewers have seen their film Eternal Enemies.
Their recent expansion into conservation tourism via their new company, Great Plains, is a venture into community/conservation partnerships in Africa, and Great Plains has received international awards for responsible tourism.
It is the Jouberts’ belief that while some areas need the wilderness to be maintained in isolation, other areas will disappear unless viable, extremely-light-ecological-footprint (low-volume, high-cost) benefits are generated for communities. The total amount of impacted conservation land under Great Plains influence is about 1.5 million acres (607,000 hectares). These projects all aim to rehabilitate the environment and return these vast tracts of land to nature.
To find out more about Great Plains, click here.
Most of all I encourage you to go and watch this profound movie. The incredible storytelling and wildlife sequences are combined with beautiful cinematography and a message which spoke directly to my conscience. It is clear: lion populations are diminishing in Africa and we need to do something about it. Both awareness and action are positive, vital steps in enhancing the awakening of a greater global consciousness towards our planet. By sharing this and encouraging those around you to see this movie, you are part of the tribe building momentum towards this global brain.
If any of you have already seen the movie, I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.