The Last Lioness [2009] • National Geographic

I'm always suspicious about how much of the "story" is manufactured in some of these animal documentaries. This one focuses on a single lioness, Lady Liuwa, who is the sole survivor after massive poaching wiped out most of the wildlife in Zambia's Liuwa Plain, a 3,000 square mile reserve. Cameraman Herbert Brauer goes there to photograph hyenas and becomes the object of Lady Liuwa's affection. The lioness hangs out by his jeep and does playful ktty-rolls, sleeps close to his tent at night, follows him around like a well trained dog and rips the seat of his jeep to shreds trying to get at a little of his man smell (I guess).

Lady Liuwa has been alone for five years. The African Parks Conservation team hatches a plan to bring in a male lion to give Lady Liuwa some companionship and the possibility of mating and creating a new pride of lions in the park. The first male they bring in chokes to death on his own vomit after waking up from the ten hour sedation needed to transport him to Liuwa from wherever he used to live. They don't show that part, though, and don't really explain why it's so difficult to find and translocate some stud, or even some other girl lions, for Lady Liuwa to play with.

Eight months later the African Parks Conservation team finds a couple lion brothers and translocates them to Liuwa. Five days later they are hanging out with Lady Liuwa and she's doing kitty-rolls for them.

There better be a sequel.


Starring: Lady Liuwa the Lioness

NatGeoTV site

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