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Wed, Aug. 10 at 7pm – Nature: Dogs in the Land of Lions

An African wild dog female, lying in grass.
Kim Wolhuter
PBS Pressroom
Puzzles, an African wild dog female, lying in grass. Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Zimbabwe.

Follow the unforgettable journey of a close-knit family of wild dogs in Zimbabwe and witness rarely seen behavior, from tender moments with newborn pups, to the thrills of hunting wildebeest, to close encounters with their greatest enemy - the lion on Nature: Dogs in the Land of Lions broadcasting Wed, Aug. 10 at 7pm.

Tune in on the WSIU stations: WSIU 8.1, WUSI 16.1, WSEC 14.1, WQEC 27.1 and WMEC 22.2 or access the WSIU local broadcast livestream online at pbs.org or via the PBS Video app. Watch with WSIU Passport.

About the Program
Filmed over two years by cinematographer Kim Wolhuter (Nature: The Cheetah Children), Nature: Dogs in the Land of Lions takes viewers into the heart of an African wild dog family. When lions kill her mate, a wild dog mother called Puzzles suddenly must raise two generations of pups all on her own without the help of a pack.

Witness the loyalty and selflessness that sets wild dogs apart from other large, social carnivores in this deeply intimate portrayal of motherhood. But in this unforgiving Zimbabwe wilderness, it turns out the top dogs are the big cats – lions are the wild dogs’ ultimate enemies. The young dogs provide some light-hearted moments while discovering the world around them, but as they grow up, they must face these eternal enemies on their journey to independence.

Noteworthy Facts:

  • The African wild dog population in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in Zimbabwe has been devastated by a rabies epidemic in recent years. Puzzles and her partner Jigsaw are one of only about 700 breeding pairs alive today.
  • Lions in the reserve will go out of their way to kill wild dogs because they both hunt the same animals. The dogs’ only defense is to avoid lions at all times.
  • Few things provide as much family entertainment as hyena hazing. Although rivals for one another’s kills, dogs enjoy hounding hyenas whenever they get a chance. The hyenas seem to grin and bear it.
  • Wild dogs can reach up to 40 miles an hour while running and hunting.
  • Setting wild dogs apart from other carnivores is their willingness to sacrifice almost anything for their pack, a behavior wired into their DNA.

Series Overview:
Nature is a voice for the natural world, bringing the wonders of wildlife and stories of conservation to millions of American viewers. Nature has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 18 Emmys and three Peabody Awards.

With over a decade of experience in public media, Stackhouse serves as the Assistant Director of Digital Services for WSIU Public Broadcasting. The Digital Service department supports the promotion of the station’s digital content and services including social media, web-based membership services and activities, and marketing and communications. Stackhouse's professional goals include creating an inclusive environment where media students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale can gain experience and professional development opportunities in various aspects of the broadcasting industry.
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