Super Cats

super cats
20.00–21.00

With three-inch long canines and retractable claws like flick knives, big cats are among the fiercest fourlegged beasts on the planet. Capable of taking down fleet-footed antelope, two-tonne elephants and even human beings, these animals are 500 lbs of pure predator. Tonight’s programme takes an apprehensive look at these magnificent creatures.

Focusing chiefly on lions and tigers, the film takes viewers inside the world’s biggest cats in an attempt to unlock the secrets of these often misunderstood behemoths of the wild. New science deconstructs the engineering of these legendary man-eaters, revealing exactly what they are capable of, and what they are really after when they hunt.

Using the latest CGI technology, the programme peels back the layers of the beasts: a 360-degree CT scan of a big cat’s head and jaws, in addition to actual dissections, reveals new insights into their engineering, sensory systems and intelligence. Archive footage and recreation of documented attacks on humans –including an investigation into a case in Tanzania where cats have hunted humans –propel viewers into the science and mechanics of these big predators. The show reveals how the animals think, how they work, how they hunt, and what makes them the rulers of the landscape.

Crawling through Africa, the cameras stalk and capture the big cats, revealing their physique, teeth, claws and ambush tactics. GPS tracking devices show how much land – and prey – the predators need to survive. We also explore their maximum appetite (over 50 pounds of meat at one sitting) and the lion’s unique team approach to hunting.

Also explored in the film are the newly discovered ways that big cats kill. The brutish stereotype is wrong – the beasts kill with pinpoint delicacy, as opposed to clumsy butchery. Finally, the programme compares a shock troop of lions to the lone stealth of a tiger and reveals which extreme predator truly deserves the title of ‘Super Cat’.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1