‘The Unlikely Leopard’

Art: drfranken

I just watched the premier of NatGeo’s newest production, “The Unlikely Leopard.” Beautiful photography, as you’d expect. All the more stunning for featuring a leopard, possibly nature’s most beautiful big cat.

The show basically follows a single leopard from shortly after birth to being an adult on his own. It does what it is intended to do — showcase the incredible beauty of leopards. And that’s part of the show’s broader purpose, to highlight the plight of big cats around the world. They are disappearing, and we are to blame.

According to National Geographic and wild cat conservation organization Panthera:

• Leopard numbers have dropped from 750,000 to as few as 50,000 over the past 50 years.

• Cheetahs have vanished from more than 75% of their natural habitat in Africa, including six countries they previously occupied.

• The fewer than 3,500 remaining wild tigers are now outnumbered by those living in captivity.

Co-producer Dereck Joubert says people who want to help can forgo fur clothing, donate to non-profit organizations, and spread awareness.

“At this rate, we’re going to see extinction of these fantastic jewels of the forest in the next 10 to 15 years,” says Joubert. “We’re gathering momentum, but we really do need an army of supporters or we will lose these cats.”

I love big cats. They are my favorite wild animal. Their beauty and grace is unmatched in the wild. And knowing they are on the verge of extinction because of us makes me crazy. Tigers are my personal favorite, and they are the most critically endangered. I can’t even imagine a world without these beautiful creatures.

“The Unlikely Leopard” drove the message home with this closing observation:

“We kill them because we love their incredible beauty — and we love ourselves more.”

5 thoughts on “‘The Unlikely Leopard’

    1. Thanks. I wanted something truly magnificent, and couldn’t find an impressive enough photo. If only great illustrations were enough to get the point across. You’d think even the idiots who kill these cats for their skins would realize that killing them all means the end of their supply …

  1. Great show. Needs more exposure! (thanks for featuring in this blog). That awkward little guy was so cute -so easy to see not only domestic cat relative, but not so far stretch to see a young human’s antics there, too. (Oh I know Dog Whisperer – we project our own human characteristics on animals…)
    But critters are all interconnected in life and nature – so one endangered is all endangered.
    (Not to mention what we can learn from them…like: take only what you need, protect and care for your young, and gently shove out the kids when they are ready to be on their own…and take naps)
    Sigh. Beauty is a blessing and a cure. Appreciated/admired, but hunted to death (Also strangely human?)
    Probably topic of some song….where have they all gone – and when will we ever learn?
    Important post

    1. When will we ever learn? When they are gone, they’re gone. They are irreplaceable. We’re supposedly the smartest creatures on earth, but look what we are doing …

... and that's my two cents