The Big Cat People Podcast

The Big Cat People

Join Jonathan and Angela Scott each week as they delve into some of their favorite topics during The Big Cat People Podcast. Transport yourself into the world of the Big Cat People with solo episodes featuring storyteller extraordinaire Jonathan Scott, or hear from some of the most influential and inspiring experts during the conversational interview-style episodes. Guests include photographers, celebrities, conservationists, and more. Learn more at www.bigcatpeople.com read less
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Episodios

EPISODE 04: Shem Compion – Becoming a Photographer
22-12-2023
EPISODE 04: Shem Compion – Becoming a Photographer
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is a continuation of our guest interview series, 'In Conversation with The Big Cat People'. In this series, Jonathan and Angie sit down with incredibly talented photographers to discuss the topic of 'Becoming a Photographer'. Today's guest is Shem Compion, an African-born adventurer, nature photographer, author, and innovative photography hide builder. Co-founder of C4 Photo Safaris, his work, renowned globally, includes contributions to the BBC's Planet Earth series. Pioneering photography hides, such as Africa's first underground hide, Shem offers unique perspectives. An educator and author, he's published seven titles, including "A Landscape of Insects." Shem's boundless exploration recently took him along Ethiopia's Omo River, consistently producing creative photographic work. As a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society in London, Shem Compion remains a dynamic force in wildlife photography. This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com. Connect with Shem Compion: ⁠@shemimages shemimages.com
EPISODE 03: Abraham Joffe – Becoming a Photographer
10-11-2023
EPISODE 03: Abraham Joffe – Becoming a Photographer
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is a continuation of a new guest interview series, 'In Conversation with The Big Cat People'. In this series, Jonathan and Angie sit down with incredibly talented photographers to discuss the topic of 'Becoming a Photographer'. Today's guest is Abraham Joffe ACS, an Australian cinematographer, director, and producer, who is renowned for his visually captivating storytelling. He's the founder of Untitled Film Works, specializing in cutting-edge capture technology. With 20 years of experience across 40 countries and expertise in underwater and aerial filming, Abraham's work includes the Netflix series "Tales by Light." This series led to "Big Cat Tales" in 2018 and 2019. In 2017, he received the Milli award from the Australian Cinematographers Society for his work. Currently, he's directing and producing the Netflix series "OUR OCEANS" and an upcoming feature film. This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com. Connect with Abraham Joffe: @abrahamjoffe untitledfilmworks.com
EPISODE 02: Brent Stirton – Becoming a Photographer
12-10-2023
EPISODE 02: Brent Stirton – Becoming a Photographer
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is a continuation of a new guest interview series, 'In Conversation with The Big Cat People'. In this series, Jonathan and Angie sit down with incredibly talented photographers to discuss the topic of 'Becoming a Photographer'. Today's guest is Brent Stirton, a Senior Photographer at Getty Images in New York, is celebrated for his compelling documentary work. With an alternative approach to photojournalism, he combines lighting portraiture in the field with prolific work ethic, traveling extensively on commissioned assignments. Collaborating with renowned publications like National Geographic, CNN Traveler, and more, he interprets stories visually. His focus lies in humanitarian issues, including HIV/AIDS, environment, poverty, and women's empowerment. Stirton has received numerous awards, including a Peabody Award in 2012, and holds a journalism degree from South Africa, where he began his career documenting apartheid issues. This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com. Connect with Brent Stirton: brentstirton.com @brentstirton
EPISODE 01: Will Burrard-Lucas – Becoming a Photographer
20-09-2023
EPISODE 01: Will Burrard-Lucas – Becoming a Photographer
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is the first in the brand new guest interview series, 'In Conversation with The Big Cat People'. In this series, Jonathan and Angie sit down with incredibly talented photographers to discuss the topic of 'Becoming a Photographer'. The first guest on the podcast is Will Burrard-Lucas, a British wildlife photographer and Sony Europe Imaging Ambassador who splits his time between the UK and Africa. Inspired by childhood years in Tanzania, he's deeply connected to the natural world. Will's work centers on capturing awe-inspiring animal portraits, often using wide-angle lenses. He's known for pioneering "BeetleCam," a remote-controlled camera buggy, and a range of camera trap products. His collaborations with Tsavo Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service resulted in "Land of Giants," a book documenting iconic elephants. "The Black Leopard" and a forthcoming book on lions continue his remarkable journey. Don't miss his 2022 Ted Talk: "Between Dreams and Reality. This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com. Connect with Will Burrard-Lucas: willbl.com @willbl
EPISODE 02: Sacred Nature Series – 'Becoming Conservationists'
17-08-2023
EPISODE 02: Sacred Nature Series – 'Becoming Conservationists'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is the second in the Sacred Nature Series, and it discusses the topic of 'Becoming Conservationists'. A trip down memory lane with Jonathan and Angie, from growing up immersed in Nature - Angie in Tanzania and Jonathan on a farm in the UK - to their shared love of wildlife, photography and art. They met and married in the Maasai Mara in 1992, kindred spirits, with Angie giving structure and clarity to their path, whether what their next project might be - a CD Rom on an African Safari, revising their Safari Guide Books to East African Animals and Birds, or working on television series - they have never looked back, always on the go, living life to the full, whether at home in Nairobi or photographing a world beyond reality: Antarctica. There were halcyon days on safari filming Big Cat Diary for weeks at a time, with Jonathan as co-presenter and Angie as an ace big cat spotter and production stills photographer. Angie has always loved books and dreamed of one day seeing their work writ large in a portfolio book of their own making. That dream was realised with their two award winning titles of Sacred Nature published by HPH Publishes in South Africa. They in turn led to them founding the non-profit Sacred Nature Initiative based on three pillars: Inspire, Educate, Conserve. This is the fascinating and inspiring story of their journey to Becoming Conservationists.  This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com.
EPISODE 01: Sacred Nature Series – 'Safari Etiquette'
02-08-2023
EPISODE 01: Sacred Nature Series – 'Safari Etiquette'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is the first in the Sacred Nature Series, and it centers around the concept of 'Safari Etiquette'. The advent of wildlife tourism to Parks and Reserves around the world has been a mixed blessing. It helps to generate much needed foreign currency for the local economy. Some of this revenue goes towards managing protected areas and helping local communities living with wildlife to meet their development needs. Getting the right balance between the financial benefits of tourism and the sanctity of the natural environment, and wellbeing of local communities and wildlife, is no easy matter and needs to constantly be monitored. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Greater Maasai Mara Ecosystem in Kenya. The overdevelopment of tourism facilities in and around the Maasai Mara National Reserve (MMNR) has resulted in swarms of vehicles crisscrossing the landscape in search of predator sightings, leading to scenes of utter chaos as reported recently in a hard hitting article in the New York Times entitled, The Cheetahs Made a Kill. Then the Safari Trucks Swarmed In (4 January, 2023). How can we help? The Sacred Nature Initiative, founded by Jonathan and Angela in 2021, is currently supporting Narok County Government’s One-Mara Brand initiative. This takes an ecosystem approach in partnership with stakeholders, such as the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancy Association, to help safeguard the welfare of local communities and wellbeing of protected areas, while developing sustainable and attractive tourism products. Embedding a strong culture of good practice - a Safari Etiquette - would help elevate the safari experience we want to offer visitors to new standards of excellence. In doing so it would go a long way to turning the dream of having the Greater Mara Ecosystem declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site into a reality. This accolade has to be earned. In this podcast Jonathan explains the reasoning behind the Safari Etiquette and why it is so important for all stakeholders to come together to help salvage the reputation of the Maasai Mara. This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com.
EPISODE 08: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '2006: A Lioness Called Tamu'
27-06-2023
EPISODE 08: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '2006: A Lioness Called Tamu'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is called '2006: A Lioness Called Tamu', and it is the eighth episode in our ten part series named Big Cat Diary Uncut. Join us in this episode as we go back in time to the year 2006. If the demise of little Toto the cheetah cub had a UK audience of 7 million viewers of Big Cat Week 3 - and many more around the world - the story of a lioness called Tamu would define Big Cat Week 4. The young Marsh lioness was almost certainly one of two female cubs that accompanied Nsu Nsu when videoing Big Cat Diary in 2002. The little females had played an innocent part that year in Mama Lugga (aka Red) losing contact with her small cubs along the Bila Shaka Lugga. Those four cubs were fortunate to be adopted by White Eye and Kali who raised them in a creche of 10, proving the power of the "sisterhood" to the pride. Now Tamu faced troubles of her own when a nomadic male moves in to the area where she has hidden four tiny cubs fathered by Notch. The iconic pride male sporting a magnificent mane tinged with black was now on his own, having lost his male companion in a fight to the death with three powerful Paradise Pride males more than a year-and-a-half earlier. The migration of wildebeests and zebras had flooded in from the Serengeti, and Notch was doing everything he could to remain close to the lionesses and sub-adults in the pride to avoid two nomadic males who had recently moved in to the area. He spent most of his time in Musiara Marsh where there was plenty of food to scavenge from kills made by other members of the pride. Meanwhile, Jonathan is reunited with Honey - Toto’s mum - who had given birth to a new litter of cubs and was spending most of her time in the Mara Triangle, ranging widely. Just before filming, Honey loses one of her cubs leaving three males and a female of around seven months old. Then, right at the start of the series, another cub is lost - the little female - killed by a lion when mother and cubs tarry too long gorging themselves on a wildebeest calf after dark. While Jonathan and Simon and the cheetah and lion crews have their hands full keeping up with all the dramas of their stories, Saba is struggling. This will be the fourth year she has followed the leopard story for four years and it is proving a tough assignment. Once again Bella is without cubs, and we know how difficult it is when there are no cubs to drive the action. Fortunately, Bella is in oestrus and being courted by four adult males, unfortunately the action occurs deep in cover and the leopard crew are left frustrated. The beauty of Big Cat has always been the richness of the stories and while Bella does provide flashes of wonderful viewing it is Tamu and Honey who hold center stage, keeping everyone glued to their television sets. Tamu is constantly trying to avoid other members of the Marsh Pride - particularly Red and White Eye - who are quick to try and intimidate their younger relative and force her on her way whenever they spot her trying to among the dense reed-beds of the Marsh where she has hidden her cubs. Honey’s three male cubs provide plenty of excitement as they refine their hunting skills and engage in boisterous play sessions. They are destined to become known as Honey’s Boys, a powerful coalition that in time will dominate a huge territory from Musiara Marsh south to Paradise Plain and east to the Rekero area. Roll on 2008!  This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com.
EPISODE 07: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '2005: Honey and Toto'
19-06-2023
EPISODE 07: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '2005: Honey and Toto'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is called '2005: Honey and Toto', and it is the seventh episode in our ten part series named Big Cat Diary Uncut. Join us in this episode as we go back in time to the year 2005. One of the things that defined Big Cat was that our Producers and Executives at the BBC Natural History Unit were always looking for innovations, whether discussing programme style and structure with their counterparts in the Entertainment division at the BBC and Animal Planet, or looking for other ways to bring great production values to the series. We benefit from collaborating with the Planet Earth team during their visit to the Maasai Mara to film some helicopter aerials to give a heightened sense of scale to the landscape and our place in it, just a tiny vehicle marooned in the enormity of the savanna. However, this series would not linger on in the audience's memories for years to come due to the stunning visuals. It would forever be remembered for a tiny cheetah cub that Jonathan names Toto - meaning “child" or “little one” in Swahili. The three-month-old male cub is the only survivor of Honey’s third litter. Jonathan sets the reality of the scene for viewers when he says, “I will be amazed if Toto survives.” The series ends on a sorrowful note. After the crew had returned to the UK, Simon and his wife Marguerite stayed on to film cheetahs for Planet Earth and discovered Honey alone a few days later. I recorded a last line of commentary while back at the Natural History Unit in Bristol, and remember being conflicted by the need to not simply speak my truth rather than, it seemed to me, struggle to avoid acknowledging the inevitable. Toto had died, and while we could not be certain what the circumstances had been, most likely it would have been lions or hyenas that killed him. This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com.
EPISODE 05: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '2003: Kike's Story and Bella the Leopard'
05-06-2023
EPISODE 05: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '2003: Kike's Story and Bella the Leopard'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is called '2003: Kike's Story and Bella the Leopard', and it is the fifth episode in our ten part series named Big Cat Diary Uncut. Join us in this episode as we tell the story behind the first series of Big Cat Week, broadcast in 2003 on BBC1/Animal Planet. One of the iconic stars was Kike the cheetah, who became famous for leaping up on to the roof of safari vehicles in the Maasai Mara NR where she grew up. Some people think the young female was Amber's daughter who featured prominently in Big Cat Diary in 1998. She was also known as Queen, the orphan cheetah female - one of a litter of five - whose mother was killed by a predator in 1988. She and her siblings were returned to the wild, and associated vehicles with food supplied to them by rangers prior to becoming independent. Queen loved to leap up on to the bonnet of a safari vehicle to check for prey or danger from her aerial perch, just as she would when there was a termite mound to climb up on to. Kike took this habit to a whole knew level, not only climbing on to the roof of a vehicle, but in the case of Jonathan's Toyota Land Cruiser sitting on the open lid of his roof hatch and at times peeing and pooing onto him and his precious camera gear! There are still times when Jonathan is stopped in the street to confirm "Aren't you the bloke that the cheetah crapped on?" . This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com.
EPISODE 03: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '2000: The Rise and Fall of Scar & the Story of Solo the Lion Cub'
15-05-2023
EPISODE 03: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '2000: The Rise and Fall of Scar & the Story of Solo the Lion Cub'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We've have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is named '2000: The Rise and Fall of Scar & the Story of Solo the Lion Cub', and it is the third episode in our ten part series named 'Big Cat Diary Uncut'. Join us in this episode as we follow the Big Cat Diary team and their experiences during the momentous times in 2000. The Marsh Pride is faced with challenges as Scar battles to remain with the pride after the death of his companion, Scruffy. A severe drought causes a large influx of wildebeest and zebra in the area while two of the core females are killed by Maasai herdsmen. Only three adult lionesses remain, along with eight subadults. Topi Plains pride males Blondie and Simba invade the Marsh Pride's territory, and a new territorial male, Droopy Jaw, causes trouble for Zawadi and Safi. The season ends on a heart-wrenching note as Solo, a three-month-old lion cub, goes missing, and his mother and the Big Cat Diary team search for him. Tune in to hear all about these gripping events. This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com.
EPISODE 02: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '1998: Amber the Cheetah and the Battle at Bila Shaka'
08-05-2023
EPISODE 02: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '1998: Amber the Cheetah and the Battle at Bila Shaka'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We've have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is named '1998: Amber the Cheetah and the Battle at Bila Shaka, and it is the second episode in our ten part series named 'Big Cat Diary Uncut'. The second series of Big Cat Diary videoed in 1998 was one to remember, packed with action from all three big cats. Jonathan bears witness to a battle royal at Bila Shaka, the traditional birthplace of the Marsh Pride, as a herd of buffalo launch a deadly attack on the pride and its 11 tiny cubs. We meet the new pride males Scruffy and Scar who are instantly recognisable in looks and character. Simon catches up with the Mara's legendary cheetah known to the safari guides as Queen, who he renames Amber. Queen earned her name from her habit of jumping up and sitting on the bonnet of safari vehicles in regal style. We learn about her unusual start in life that prompted her car climbing habit. Her three subadult offspring - 2 males and a female - provide lots of action for the cheetah team, while our leopards Half-Tail and her year-and-a-half-old daughter Zawadi (now independent) generate plenty of high octane moments to keep Jonathan and our audience enthralled. Both Amber and Half-Tail are now 11 years old - old by big cat standards - and we can never be certain if or when we will see them again. As if to underline that point, Half-Tail comes close to losing her life when bushwhacked by two lionesses, while Zawadi demonstrates her hunting skills right in front of Jonathan's vehicle, all captured to perfection by cameraman Richard North. Roll on 2000! This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com.
EPISODE 01: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '1996: A Leopard Called Half-Tail'
01-05-2023
EPISODE 01: Big Cat Diary Uncut – '1996: A Leopard Called Half-Tail'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We've have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is named '1996: A Leopard Called Half-Tail', and it's the first episode in our ten part series named 'Big Cat Diary Uncut'. In 1996 the BBC launches its landmark wildlife series Big Cat Diary. Pioneered by Keith Scholey of the BBC Natural History Unit, and building on the success of Africa Watch (1989) and the increasing popularity of reality shows, Big Cat Diary is destined to become a television phenomenon - the original big cat soap opera. Key to the popularity of the first series is a leopard called Half-Tail and her 7 month-old daughter Zawadi (known to the audience as Shadow). Jonathan and Angela had followed Half Tail since 1990, naming the two-year-old leopard the Paradise Female - before she lost her tail. The Marsh Pride, who Jonathan had followed since 1977 and was key to the success of Africa Watch, were in disarray at the start of filming having suffered the loss of their pride males. Fortunately the team are able to pick up the story of the Big Pride who occupy a territory to the north of the Reserve and number 27 lions - 4 adult males, 7 adult females, and 16 cubs. While Jonathan concentrates on the leopards, Simon follows two families of cheetahs, sharing the lion story with Jonathan. There are plenty of the kinds of moments of drama and jeopardy that reality shows rely on, including when Kidogo the cheetah's female cub becomes trapped by the forepaw while scrambling around in an acacia bush. Simon poses the question: "Should the team intervene or let nature take its course?" Meanwhile, the night crew, filming with infrared cameras, capture amazing scenes with Half-Tail and Zawadi at play after dark, and show how much the Big Pride benefit from their acute nocturnal vision while stalking prey in the open. Jonathan and Angela describe what a unique experience it is to spend quality time with Half-Tail the leopard who they have followed all her adult life. She proves to be a once-in-a-lifetime animal character who captures the hearts of the millions of viewers who tune in to the show." This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com.
EPISODE 10: Becoming the Big Cat People – 'The Nature of Life'
17-04-2023
EPISODE 10: Becoming the Big Cat People – 'The Nature of Life'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We've have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is the final episode of our ten part series named 'Our Story: Becoming the Big Cat People'. This episode is named 'The Nature of Life.' Big Cat Diary (1996-2008) was to become a worldwide success watched by millions of viewers, who to this day still ask when it is coming back. DVD's of the series soon sold out, and people are still watching repeats of the more than 70 episodes 25 years later. The BBC went  in search of more animal Diaries: Elephant Diaries, Big Bear Diary, Chimpanzee Diaries, and Orang Utan Diaries,. But none would rival Big Cat Diary with its three strong animal characters - the charismatic lions, leopard and cheetahs. In 2009 Jonathan narrates The Secret Leopard for BBC2. The following year he presents the 2 part BBC2 series The Truth About Lions with Professor Craig Packer of the Serengeti Lion Project. Angela leads Jonathan on a spiritual journey, and encourages him to explore the wonders of the Blue Planet. They visit the Galapagos Islands, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, the Maldives and take a yacht charter to the southern archipelago off Myanmar. In the process Jonthan and Angela are reminded of the destructive impact of our species on the Planet. In 2003, the same year that Kike the cheetah jumps on the roof of his vehicle and poops and pees through the roof hatch, Jonathan is diagnosed with cancer of the bladder and undergoes surgery that is successful. 5 years later Jonathan and Angela discover the reason for the bewildering array of symptoms that Angela has suffered from since 1995 - Lupus, an incurable auto-immune disease with debilitating episodes of fatigue and flares. Worse is to follow when in 2012 a CatScan shows that Angela has a cranial aneurism requiring surgery. The operation is successful and the experience reaffirms the couple's love for each other and for life. They founded the Sacred Nature Initiative in 2021 and are determined to continue their mission to help reconnect people to Nature.  This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com
EPISODE 09: Becoming the Big Cat People – 'Big Cat Diary'
10-04-2023
EPISODE 09: Becoming the Big Cat People – 'Big Cat Diary'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We've have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is a continuation of our ten part series named 'Our Story: Becoming the Big Cat People'. This episode is named 'Big Cat Diary.' Jonathan's journey to becoming a television presenter takes a big step forward in 1995. He is asked to co-present a series of live programmes from Kenya's Rift Valley soda lakes called Flamingo Watch, hosted with Simon King and Chris Packham. The following year his big chance finally arrives. He is asked to present his own television series called Dawn to Dusk, six African adventures in iconic company: Alan Root (Wildlife Filmmaker, Richard Gross (Wildlife Filmmaker), Charlotte Uhlenbroek (Primatologist), Blyth and Rudi Louti (Save the Rhino), Randall Moore (Abu Elephant Camp), John Stevens (Safari Guide/Naturalist). A review of the series by journalist Christina Odone in the Daily Telegraph is scathing and could have heralded the end of Jonathan's presenting career before it had a chance to take off. Fortunately that same year the BBC announces the launch of a new prime time wildlife television series called Big Cat Diary, to be presented by Jonathan and Simon King. Reality television was becoming increasingly popular with Animal Hospital hosted by Rolf Harris gaining rave reviews. Human/Animal stories that could deliver insights and emotion featuring individual characters were destined for huge success. Big Cat Diary's strength was built around having three strong animal characters to engage audiences' emotions. The emergence of a leopard called Half-Tail and her young daughter Zawadi (known as Shadow on Big Cat Diary), who Jonathan and Angela had followed for years and knew where to find, proves pivotal to the success of the series. In 1997 Jonathan and Angela are asked to present segments for Wild Things (Paramount TV), taking them around the world to India (tigers), Nepal (Asiatic rhino), Alaska (brown bears), Kenya (cheetahs), Uganda (mountain gorillas), Komodo Island (Komodo Dragons), and Kalimantan/Borneo (Orang utan). Filming runs for two years and the experience gives Jonathan and Angela the confidence to deliver pieces to camera with authority and passion.  This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com
EPISODE 08: Becoming the Big Cat People – 'From Africa to Antarctica'
03-04-2023
EPISODE 08: Becoming the Big Cat People – 'From Africa to Antarctica'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We've have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is a continuation of our ten part series named 'Our Story: Becoming the Big Cat People'. This episode is named, 'From Africa to Antarctica.' Opportunity beckons in 1989! I’m asked to co-present Africa Watch with Julian Pettifer, the first live outside broadcast from the Maasai Mara produced by the BBC/Discovery Channel. For ten days we beamed breathtaking images around the world, starring the Marsh Pride and the great migration. Africa Watch proves a great success. There is talk of the BBC finding a TV series for me to present, but not yet. During filming I meet Mitsuaki Iwago the legendary wildlife photographer who tells me to be more adventurous with my own photography. 1991 hails the beginning of our love affair with Antarctica, a land beyond reality, that would keep Angela and myself enthralled to this day. Our annual expeditions aboard Abercrombie and Kent’s Little Red Ship, brought to life by tales of the heroic age of exploration when Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton battled the elements to be first to the South Pole, opened a whole new chapter in our lives “Out of Africa”. En route, via South America, we go in search of Angela’s Grandfather Hugo Salman Backhouse who bred polo ponies on an estancia in Cordoba, Argentina, where Angela’s mother Joy and Uncle Jonny were born and home schooled. Hugo, forever the charismatic adventurer, captained the Argentine Polo Team in 1936, spied for Britain in both World Wars, and rode with Laurence of Arabia. Back in Africa we remember some close encounters with nature, from a 4.5 meter long python curled up under our son David’s cot, to a bull elephant named Tyson who relished trashing the BBC’s camera equipment while filming Elephant Diaries in Tsavo National Park. Yet one of our most frightening misadventures is not in Africa. A meeting on foot with a bull Hooker’s Sea Lion on the remote Campbell Island off New Zealand during our semi-circumnavigation of Antarctica aboard Kapitan Khlebnikov proves a salutary tale. With a warning we would all do well to heed. This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com
EPISODE 07: Becoming the Big Cat People – 'Angie: Girl With the Long Blonde Hair'
22-03-2023
EPISODE 07: Becoming the Big Cat People – 'Angie: Girl With the Long Blonde Hair'
Welcome to The Big Cat People podcast! We're Jonathan and Angela Scott, award-winning wildlife photographers, authors and conservationists. We've have made our name documenting the lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Today's episode is a continuation of our ten part series named 'Our Story: Becoming the Big Cat People'. This episode is named, 'Angie: Girl With the Long Blonde Hair.' Despite realising some of my most treasured dreams, I had suffered from a condition known as dissociation - a feeling of unreality - that would sweep over me for days, weeks, months even. It begun in my final year at Christ's Hospital School in England, on through University in Northern Ireland well in to my 30s in Kenya. A turning point for my mental health issues was meeting Angela Bellamy in the late 1980s, the girl with the long blonde hair and beloved children Alia and David. Not only was I to come to know the joy of becoming a Father, I had never met anyone like Angela before: sublime in her beauty, the best listener and companion you could ever hope for, and the love of my life. Added to that was her upbringing. She was living my dream long before I set out overland from London in 1974 in search of a life amongst wild animals in savanna Africa. She was born in Alexandria in Egypt, raised in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania with the Serengeti as her family's favourite safari destination. We both loved art and photography and spending time in nature. By good fortune, another extraordinary female appeared in my life at this time: a leopard I named the Paradise female who in 1996 was to become Half-Tail of Big Cat Diary fame. Angela and I married in March 1992 atop the Olololoo Escarpment, 300 meters above the Mara's animal speckled plains. A year later we decided to buy a home of our own in a leafy suburb of Nairobi overlooking the Ngong Hills, the sublime view celebrated in Karen Blixen's evocative and poetic story Out of Africa. This podcast series is a continuing effort to educate and inspire our audience. If you'd like to learn more about us, or to check out our latest collection of educational ebooks, please visit our website: www.bigcatpeople.com