Nature: The Leopard Legacy

Air date: 04/14/2021

Nature: The Leopard Legacy

Premieres Wednesday, April 14 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nature and the PBS Video app

Synopsis:
A confident and powerful leopardess called Olimba rules over an exceptionally large area along Zambia’s Luangwa River. She is a formidable hunter, a courageous ruler and a devoted mother. She has just given birth to two tiny cubs, and as she faces the challenging task of motherhood, it is a constant battle to hunt successfully, to defend her prime territory and to protect her cubs against enemies. One day, Olimba discovers a nomadic male leopard near her cubs, and without hesitation, she attacks him. He makes a lucky escape, but when Olimba returns to the den, one of her cubs is gone. As she comes to terms with her loss, Olimba forges on as a devoted mother and passes on all her knowledge to her blue-eyed boy, named Makumbi. When he is one year old and succeeds in hunting his own prey, Olimba must part ways with her son. Their final hostile encounter leaves the youngster vulnerable with a dreadful eye injury. Will his resilience and fighting spirit help him overcome this injury?

Buzzworthy Moments:

  • Olimba, a leopardess named for her strength and boldness, is a mother to two cubs. While the cubs are very young, she must hide them from predators in the hollow of a winter thorn tree until they are old enough to learn how to hunt.
  • When the cubs have grown a bit, Olimba demonstrates how to hunt impala and other prey. One day, a nomadic male leopard encroaches on her territory. Olimba fights off the intruder, but when she comes back to where her cubs were hiding, one of them is missing. Her desperate search leads nowhere, and she must now focus on the survival of her remaining cub, Makumbi.
  • Makumbi grows up under the tutelage of Olimba. When he reaches one year old, he becomes a successful hunter with a penchant for birds. Now able to take care of himself, Olimba forces him to part with her. They fight and Makumbi is left with an eye injury in a harsh but necessary final lesson of survival.

Short TV Listing: Follow the story of a leopard mother as she raises her cubs near the Luangwa River.

Long TV Listing: Follow the story of a leopard mother as she raises her cubs near the Luangwa River, facing a constant battle to hunt successfully, defend her territory and protect her cubs against enemies.

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). To further explore the natural world, the Nature website offers behind-the-scenes videos, filmmaker interviews, blog posts, educational resources, digital-only series and more. Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS.

Production Credits:
A film by Will and Lianne Steenkamp, Nature: The Leopard Legacy is produced by Kurt Mayer Film and Into Nature Productions for ORF, ARTE and WDR in association with ORF Enterprise and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC. Narrated by Noma Dumezweni and cinematography by Lianne Steenkamp (Nature: The White Lions, 2012). Kurt Mayer and Will Steenkamp 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: The Leopard Legacy is provided by the Arnhold Foundation, The Fairweather Foundation, Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Charles Rosenblum, Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Sandra Atlas Bass, The Arlene and Milton D. Berkman Philanthropic Fund, Bradley L. Goldberg Family Foundation, Colin S. Edwards, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by PBS.

Websites:
pbs.org/nature; facebook.com/PBSNature; twitter.com/PBSNature; instagram.com/pbsnature; youtube.com/naturepbs, tiktok.com/@pbsnature, #NaturePBS

About WNET
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station: parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN, WLIW21,
WLIW-FM and operator of NJ PBS, the statewide public media network in New Jersey and its news division, NJ SPOTLIGHT NEWS. Through its new ALL ARTS multi-platform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and the nightly interview program Amanpour and Company. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multiplatform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.

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Photos
For editorial use in North America only in conjunction with the direct publicity or promotion of NATURE, no other rights are granted. All rights reserved. Downloading this image constitutes agreement to these terms.

Young cub Makumbi curiously observes his surroundings from his tree hollow home. Zambia, Africa. Credit: Will Steenkamp / © Into Nature Productions

The silhouette of a leopard resting on a dead ancestral tree. Zambia, Africa. Credit: Will Steenkamp / © Into Nature Productions

Olimba on the prowl, defending her territory against outsiders. Zambia, Africa. Credit: Will Steenkamp / © Into Nature Productions

Young cub Makumbi looks longingly at his mother. Zambia, Africa. Credit: Will Steenkamp / © Into Nature Productions

Olimba rests after a successful hunt. Zambia, Africa. Credit: Will Steenkamp / © Into Nature Productions

Olimba’s hunting secret: suffocating her prey. Zambia, Africa. Credit: Will Steenkamp / © Into Nature Productions

Leopard mother Olimba looks up at her boys, who romp in the hollow of a tree offscreen. Zambia, Africa. Credit: Will Steenkamp / © Into Nature Productions

The young leopard male Makumbi carefully observes his surroundings. Zambia, Africa. Credit: Will Steenkamp / © Into Nature Productions

Olimba carefully stalks her prey. Zambia, Africa. Credit: Will Steenkamp / © Into Nature Productions

Makumbi runs after his mother. Zambia, Africa. Credit: Will Steenkamp / © Into Nature Productions