TV Highlights

Leopards of Dead Tree Island

Nat Geo Wild - 10pm

Who's in it?

Big cats prowl into the limelight for what's bound to be a breathtaking documentary, taking us across the harsh but beautiful landscape of the Okavango Delta. That's in Botswana – but of course you already knew that.

In a nutshell

Leopards are the most beguiling of the big cats, because they're the most private and enigmatic. We'd call them lone wolves, if they weren't in fact cats. Adult leopards tend to want nothing to do with each other, preferring to stalk and wander on their own, the Han Solos of the animal kingdom. But the ones featured in this film are fascinating exceptions.

This is the story of three leopards which actually start working together in the wilds of Botswana. Why? It's something to do with the season, and the movements of their prey. The fact is, they're brought into an uneasy alliance, with their very survival at stake. What follows is a story of cunning and ambition, of drama and eventual heartbreak as they fight to dominate the territory and wind up putting their own lives in jeapordy. No wonder they're feeling catty.

What's the verdict?

A treat for wildlife lovers, this is a film that offers more than scientific revelations and trivia tidbits – it's an emotional story with characters, friendships, rivalries and sudden twists that will have you engrossed right to the tearjerking end.

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07-07-2011