NEW ANIMAL BEHAVIORS DOCUMENTED FOR THE FIRST TIME
Secret Life of Predators, Hosted by Naturalist and Big Cat Tracker Boone Smith,
Goes into the Perilous — but Rarely Seen — World of Deadly Hunters
Four-Part Special Event Secret Life of Predators Premieres
Friday, September 20, and Friday, September 27, 2013, on NGC and Nat Geo WILD
Predators can be iconic or surprising. Some are easy to recognize, and some you would never even suspect, but every one of them must strategize, improvise and specialize in order to survive. From the networks that brought viewers Untamed Americas and Great Migrations, the National Geographic Channels now present Secret Life of Predators. Produced by the award-winning team at National Geographic Television, the four-part epic event will be simulcast on both National Geographic Channel (NGC) and Nat Geo WILD on Friday, September 20, at 8 p.m.ET/PT and Friday, September 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT during the “Night of Exploration.” (For more information, visitwww.natgeotv.com or www.natgeowild.com and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/NGC_PR.)
Guided by naturalist and big cat tracker Boone Smith, Secret Life of Predators travels to the depths of the oceans, the high forests, the vast open land and to the edge of the earth to capture every strike, chase and kill. Traveling across the globe to some of the world’s most unforgiving places including Africa’s savanna, Indonesia’s tropical reefs, Central America’s rainforest and India’s dry forest, see the world through the eyes of a predator. Regardless of where they stalk, soar or swim, carnivores must fight for every morsel, every meal, every day.
“Because they’re killers, we often think that predators have an easy time of it, but it’s actually the toughest gig on the planet,” said Smith. “Secret Life of Predators offers viewers a rare look at the ‘circle of life’ from the predators’ point of view. They may be more lethally equipped than their prey, but life isn’t an open buffet. Every encounter is an adrenaline-charged conflict … where the risk can be greater than the reward.”
Combining cutting-edge cinematography with a surprising soundtrack of indie-rock music including Snow Patrol and The Lumineers, the four-part special delivers new and astounding stories about 45 different animal species. The very best wildlife cameramen and crews traveled to 18 countries, immersing themselves in 12 different habitats to capture extraordinary natural history footage and never-before-seen animal behaviors. They endured brutally cold temperatures 400 miles from the North Pole to film polar bears and Arctic foxes; more than 200 miles out to sea from Mexico, they swam alongside the fastest fish in the ocean; and they dove 150 feet underwater in Canada to observe the giant Pacific octopus.
Deep in the rainforest, National Geographic cameras captured the unbelievable instinctual behavior of glass frog embryos. Before they were ready to hatch, these miniscule tadpoles broke out of their eggs to seek safety from a giant wasp attack. In the vast expanse of the African savanna, witness an incredibly rare act of kindness as one lioness helps an injured elder feed. Beneath the icy waves of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, filmmakers documented killer whales performing a unique hunting technique that scientists didn’t know even existed … until now.
Secret Life of Predators examines an arsenal of powerful, bizarre and stealth-like skills using an array of state-of-the-art technology. Super-slow-motion cameras capture the deadly claw strike of a small but mighty peacock mantis shrimp. Specially mounted carcass cameras provide a unique view of cheetah cubs and orcas feeding. Underwater cameras film the wacky-looking hairy frogfish walking across the sea floor. Cameras equipped with night vision make it possible to witness a sea turtle laying her eggs in the sand, and then the newborn turtles making their audacious journey to the ocean just two months later.
Episode premieres include:
Secret Life of Predators: Naked
Premieres Friday, September 20, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
There are still places on Earth where fields of grass stretch as far as the eye can see. In order to survive in these open spaces, predators must hide in plain sight. On the vast plains of the African savanna, banded mongooses rely on strength in numbers in order to succeed in a land of giants. Cheetahs and secretary birds must conquer extreme heat and elusive prey, risking their lives to feed their offspring. Mongolian wolves hunt for scarce food on the steppe. In the high Arctic, foxes hunt constantly during the short summers but always save some food for the long, extreme winters. The largest Arctic predators, polar bears, are far less picky than most assume ... and may have priorities other than food.
Secret Life of Predators: Stealth
Premieres Friday, September 20, at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Whether searching for prey in the tropical canopy or stalking a meal over a spongy moss carpet, forest predators rely on “stealth-like” skills to survive. Natural instincts kick in right from birth, and in one never-before-seen case, even before birth. For the first time captured on camera, watch glass frog embryos hatch early to escape a little-known but lethal wasp, while their father fiercely defends the babies with his martial arts moves. See how the most powerful raptor on Earth, the harpy eagle, zeroes in on large mammal prey. With talons bigger than grizzly claws, it snatches massive sloths and monkeys out of the treetops with precision. A pregnant bushmaster, the world’s largest pit viper, slithers along the rainforest floor in search of the perfect place to ambush her prey before hunkering down to lay her eggs. From the smallest true carnivore on the planet, the least weasel, to some of the largest, including the Bengal tiger and the brown bear — find out what it takes to stalk, hunt and overcome insurmountable odds to make it the wild.
Secret Life of Predators: Exposed
Premieres Friday, September 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT
When water meets land, landscapes clash and predators such as dolphins, lions, monitor lizards and baboons must master skills to hunt in both habitats. In the East African rift, where mountains and a dry lakeshore confine predators to a narrow strip of land, witness remarkable altruism among lions and see firsthand how ferocious a group of seemingly playful olive baboons can be. From the edge of the Rift Valley, journey north to a high mountain plateau where the world’s rarest wolf survives against all odds by hunting unusual prey. Along the American coastal wetlands, predators are forced to be clever and creative: reddish egrets dance on water to catch their prey, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins beach themselves to scare fish out of the water, and an American alligator is thwarted by sneaky nocturnal raccoons while facing the unrelenting difficulties of motherhood.
Secret Life of Predators: Wet
Premieres Friday, September 27, at 10 p.m. ET/PT
The oceans of our planet are ruthless battlefields that constantly test even the deadliest carnivores. Dive beneath the icy waves of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands to witness a hunting technique rarely, if ever, documented amongst killer whales. Orcas spend only moments feeding on a gray whale calf before dragging the carcass to the sea floor in order to store the meat for leaner times. Remarkably, small cameras mounted on the dead whale capture the entire process. Further south, the fastest fish in the ocean, the sailfish, corrals sardines into a giant bait ball in the Gulf of Mexico. Along the Pacific Coast, the Pacific torpedo ray uses its biological batteries to stun potential prey with a strong jolt of electricity. Success in the sea doesn’t always depend upon size. Secret Life of Predators also explores a carnival of smaller carnivores, including: the peacock mantis shrimp and its 360-degree ultraviolent eyesight; the hairy frogfish that walks along the ocean floor and dangles a fleshy “worm” lure before attacking its prey; and the banded sea krait, a venomous sea snake.
About Boone Smith
Born into a family of Idaho houndsmen with a legacy of big cat capture spanning generations, Smith began learning the art of tracking at a young age. Following the acquisition of a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife and work toward a master’s degree, his unique skill set evolved into a career in wildlife capture. He has worked as a biologist, capture specialist and consultant throughout North and South America for numerous studies and institutions. He has worked in the most rugged terrain and conditions to capture some of the most elusive and endangered cats on the planet. In conjunction with other research scientists and organizations, Smith has helped develop some of the best and safest capture techniques for big cats used today. Smith’s work has been highlighted in several films for Nat Geo WILD’s Big Cat Week, including American Cougar,Hunt for the Shadow Cat and Snow Leopard of Afghanistan.
Secret Life of Predators is produced by National Geographic Television (NGT) for the National Geographic Channels (NGC). For NGT, the series producer is Sue Houghton. For National Geographic Channel, executive producer is Howard T. Owens. For Nat Geo WILD, executive producer is Ashley Hoppin, senior vice president of production and development is Janet Han Vissering, and EVP and general manager is Geoff Daniels.