Nature – Pumas: Legends of the Ice Mountains

Air date: 02/03/2021

Nature – Pumas: Legends of the Ice Mountains

Narrated by Uma Thurman

Premieres Wednesday, February 3 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nature and the PBS Video app

Synopsis:
In a hidden realm at the end of the world, amidst the massive ice mountains of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, condors soar, colorful caracaras keep a sharp eye out for prey and vivid pink flamingos make a theatrical appearance. This kingdom is the stronghold of the puma, a large mountain lion that hunts for guanacos – cousins of llamas – as they roam from the valleys to the hillsides. Follow the fate of Solitaria, a female puma in her prime. The mother of four cubs, she hunts and teaches her young how to live in this extraordinary landscape. Narrated by Uma Thurman.

Buzzworthy Moments:

  • A puma mother called Solitaria raises four cubs on her own. A formidable huntress, she must provide for her cubs while teaching them to provide for themselves as well. One cub named Cazadora is the sharpest of the litter. In one heart-stopping scene, Solitaria chases and takes down a guanaco while her cubs watch and learn.
  • A sudden cold burst quickly turns into a blizzard. Solitaria leaves her cubs to find food, but the deep snow and sudden avalanches make it impossible to find her way back to her cubs. Days pass and with no sign of their mother, eventually, the siblings drift apart to find their own way in the world.
  • Months later, grown up Cazadora takes the lessons she learned from her mother to hunt guanacos, finds a mate and raises four cubs of her very own. In one memorable scene, she proves her dominance over a male puma who tries to encroach on her dinner. Cazadora turns her back on him and carries on eating, sending a signal that he’s not important or a threat. The male in turn must act submissive and beg for her to share.

Noteworthy Facts:

  • In Chile’s Patagonia region, the land of the pumas stretches the entire 5,000 miles of the Cordillera de los Andes (Andes Mountains). The Torres del Paine National Park is one of the largest national parks in Chile.
  • Despite a South American population of nearly 500,000, guanacos have a unique problem when it comes to reproducing. They must gather in November at exactly the right time of day to give birth so the newborn can dry out on its own. A guanaco’s too-short tongue prevents it from licking its newborn clean. Only one in four newborn guanacos will make it to their first year due to the predatory pumas in the area.
  • Pumas are respectful of other pumas’ territories, except when it comes to mating. Courtship is a weeklong dance of testing each other’s dominance. The male does not help raise cubs but may stay in the area so that his presence will protect the cubs from other marauding young males.

Short TV Listing: Follow the fate of a puma family in the ice mountains of Patagonian Chile. Narrated by Uma Thurman.

Long TV Listing: Travel to the ice mountains of Chile to discover the secrets of the puma, the area’s biggest and most elusive predator. Discover how this mountain lion survives and follow the dramatic fate of a puma mother and her cubs. Narrated by Uma Thurman.

Series Overview:
Nature is a voice for the natural world, bringing the wonders of wildlife and stories of conservation to millions of American viewers. The series has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 19 Emmys and three Peabody Awards. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including pbs.org and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details). Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS.

Production Credits:
Nature – Pumas: Legends of the Ice Mountains is a THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC, Terra Mater Factual Studios and Wildlife Films in co-production with Doclights/NDR Naturfilm in association with Vision Hawk Films and WNET. The film is produced by Dereck Joubert and Beverly Joubert. Also produced by Casey Anderson, Christian Munoz-Donoso, René Araneda and Candice Odgers. Narrated by Uma Thurman. For TMFS, Ivo Filatsch and Sabine Holzer are Executive Producers. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer. Bill Murphy is Series Producer and Janet Hess is Series Editor.

Underwriters:
Support for Nature – Pumas: Legends of the Ice Mountains is provided by The Arnhold Family in memory of Henry and Clarisse Arnhold, The Fairweather Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Charles Rosenblum, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Sandra Atlas Bass, The Arlene and Milton D. Berkman Philanthropic Fund, The Sun Hill Family Foundation in memory of Susan and Edwin Malloy, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by public television viewers.

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About WNET
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Photos
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A female puma walking through the long frost and snow-covered grass. Credit: Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH & Wildlife Films / © Nicolas Lagos

Two puma cubs look out over the edge of a mountain, waiting for their mother to return. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. Credit: Nicolas Lagos, © Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH & Wildlife Films

A puma mother and her three cubs resting together. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. Credit: Nicolas Lagos, © Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH & Wildlife Films

Puma looks in the direction of the camera. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. Credit: Nicolas Lagos, © Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH & Wildlife Films

A female puma walks through the long frost and snow-covered grass. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. Credit: Nicolas Lagos, © Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH & Wildlife Films

Amarga Lagoon with reflection of the “Three Towers.” Torres del Paine translates to Towers of Blue. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. Credit: Nicolas Lagos, © Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH & Wildlife Films

A puma mother rests in the sun with her three one-year-old cubs. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. Credit: Nicolas Lagos, © Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH & Wildlife Films

A female puma in the mist, checking the area for prey. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. Credit: Dominic Oakes, © Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH & Wildlife Films

A female puma sits in the frost-covered shrubs, looking out over the horizon. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. Credit: Nicolas Lagos, © Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH & Wildlife Films

A female puma stalks through the frost and snow-covered shrubs. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. Credit: Nicolas Lagos, © Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH & Wildlife Films

Four puma cubs, approximately five months old, wait for their mother to come back. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. Credit: Dominic Oakes, © Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH & Wildlife Films