Big Cats back on the BBC

Starts Thursday 11 January, 8.00pm-9.00pm, BBC ONE

The planet’s top predators, cats enthral us like no other animals. Yet even in among this remarkable animal family some members stand out. Meet the world’s ultimate cats.

In Ruaha, Tanzania lions form huge ‘super prides’ in order to hunt giants. Among cats, lions are unusual as they are the only one to live in groups. In numbers they find the strength and audacity to hunt the most formidable prey.

In Sri Lanka, a tiny rusty spotted cat explores his forest home. Two hundred times smaller than a lion, the rusty spotted is the smallest of all cats, but just as curious.

The Canada lynx lives further north than any cat, relying on snowshoes hares to survive the bitterly cold winters. Until now lynx were creatures of mystery – but now technology provides an insight into their secret lives.

Predators they may be, but cats are also tender, intelligent and emotional. Honey is an African leopard and a mother. For a decade she’s worn a radio collar that has allowed scientists to follow every twist and turn of her life. Now, in the worst drought in decades, she’s battling to raise a cub.

In the Himalayas, perhaps the world’s most lonesome cat is searching for a mate. A male snow leopard may just get one chance to mate in his whole life.

Cats are naturally secretive, elusive and cryptic animals. Only now have the latest developments in filming technology, and a surge in cat research, enabled us to bring the cat superstars out of the shadows.

Combining fascinating behaviour with amazing stories, Big Cats reflects the true nature of cats – revealing how they still have the power to surprise.

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