NatGeo Wild’s Big Cat Week: Cougars Undercover
Its Big Cat Week on NatGeo Wild, and one of the headliner films is Cougars Undercover, a dramatic film following the lives of two mountain lion families in northwest Wyoming. The stars of the film are F51 and F61, adult female mountain lions studied by Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project, an ongoing work addressing diverse ecological questions that began in late 2000. F51’s mothering style is described as “like a hippie mother, just providing lots of love, but not necessarily all the sustenance they need [her kittens],” while “super mum” F61 comes across as a sleek, stern, and extremely competent provider. Read a review of the film in the Wall Street Journal, or watch a clip from the film here.
We, at Panthera, are thrilled for the opportunity to highlight the challenges wild mountain lions face in rugged western landscapes. They are a species that receive little conservation attention, and a species often maligned and misunderstood. We hope the film begins to paint a new picture of what mountain lions really are. You can still catch the film in the coming week if you missed its original debut—air times can be found here.
The film was a collaborative effort between the BBC, NatGeo Wild and Panthera, but in the end, it was professional filmmakers that told the story. And they did a wonderful job of it, relaying the intensity of mountain lion lives, and even some of the melodrama of the characters that follow them. Nevertheless, there are several additional points we would like to provide, as background information for viewers. Several of these are born of questions we have received since the release of the film.