Yesterday I spoke about how I want to read more non-fiction books, I also really want to watch more documentaries and learn more! The first series of the year that I watched is called Big Cats which was on the BBC in January. You can find the series information here. It was a three part series and was truly fascinating.
Lots is still unknown about the lives of big cats. There are forty different species of big cat and this series does an amazing job in showcasing some of those species. The series is beautifully shot and has some truly incredible scenes. My personal highlights were the rusty spotted cat, the princes cat kittens and the lynx and the snowshoe hare.
The whole series gets you really up close and personal with all of these cats. Many of which are under threat nearing the point of extinction. The third episode introduced the people who are spending their life trying to protect them.
I think the main things I learnt from watching this series was that big cats come in so many shapes and sizes but each have the most fascinating features that make them a perfect hunter. The cheetahs are obviously fast but their tails help them turn quickly without falling over to chase prey who don’t run in straight lines. They are incredibly agile! The lynx has large paws that work like giant snowshoes which allows them to catch the agile hares in the snow and jaguars have an incredible jaw strength meaning they can crunch down on a turtle shell as easily as I can munch down on crisps! As for the king of the Savannah, the lion, they live in prides unlike every other big cat species and they are amazingly intelligent.
I also loved the styling of the programmes. The music they used was just as majestic as the big cats and the pacing of the programmes kept me enthralled throughout the whole of each of the three episodes. They showed how the documentary was made at the end of the first two episodes and they gave you all the scientific names for all of these cats (perfect for further research). In the third episode they highlighted how more is being learnt about these cats which for those not in the scientific research world is brilliant. They showed just how amazing and useful camera traps can be and how long and frustrating fieldwork can be.
Although I’ve always been a fan of the philosophy of look after the little guys in conservation, it’s also essential that we look after these big cats or thy could be lost forever. Like for example the incredibly rare Bay cat that is endemic to Borneo, the documentary highlighted that as soon as the rainforest is turned into a palm oil forest these cats find somewhere else. With a dwindling habitat their population will also dwindle. Documentaries like this really highlight the reasons why conservation is so important and why we need to protect the big cats environment. The third episode particularly left me with a lot of hope for the future for big cats but there is still more work to be done!
In conclusion, this series is wonderfully informing, beautifully stunning and if you have access to the BBC go and watch it now! Here’s a little teaser!