Take nature’s fastest land mammal versus two of the quickest and most elusive athletes in all of professional sports: who wins … and what shocking secrets are revealed? Nat Geo WILD gets a front row seat as the Tennessee Titans’ Chris Johnson — the NFL’s fastest running back — and the Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester — the super-agile wide receiver and kick returner — take part in an extraordinary first-ever one-on-one challenge against a cheetah. It’s the race of a lifetime that has never been attempted before as cheetahs from Busch Gardens Tampa’s Cheetah Run attraction race NFL’s finest. Who will win? Could a human beat the animal kingdom’s fastest cat? Anything is possible.
Beginning Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, at 9 pm ET/PT, Nat Geo WILD presents the FOURTH ANNUAL BIG CAT WEEK, the network’s most-watched week for the past three years, to dramatically showcase the world’s most extraordinary big cat species. Kicking off this year’s week with Nat Geo WILD is Man v. Cheetah with Tennessee Titans’ Chris Johnson — the NFL’s fastest running back — and Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester — the super-agile wide receiver and kick returner — both taking part in an extraordinary challenge to literally go one-on-one in a first-ever race with a cheetah at Busch Gardens Tampa’s Cheetah Run attraction. To prepare the cheetahs for the race, Busch Gardens Tampa trainers used training techniques to help familiarize the cats with new experiences, such as running next to a trainer separated by an 11-foot wall, and cameras high above the habitat. A month before race day, the trainers began working with the cheetahs conducting sprints using the same motorized lure system they were already using to stimulate the cats’ natural instinct to chase.
Additionally, National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence and renowned filmmakers Beverly & Dereck Joubert present another stunning film from the bushes of Africa, Game of Lions; and big cat wrangler Boone Smith goes deep into a mysterious battle raging in the American heartland in Cougar v. Wolf. And our favorite cougar, Betty White, also joins us this week in her special, Betty White Goes Wild!
It’s a cat-eat-cat world lineup!
More than a television event, BIG CAT WEEK is an extension of the Big Cats Initiative, a long-term commitment by the National Geographic Society to stop poaching, save habitat and sound the call that big steps are needed to save big cats around the world. This global initiative actively supports on-the-ground conservation projects and education to help stem and eventually reverse the rapid disappearance of big cat populations. For more information on BIG CAT WEEK, visit www.natgeowild.com/bigcatweek or follow us on twitter @NGC_PR. More information on the Big Cats Initiative and how you can get involved, visit www.causeanuproar.com.
Photos Courtesy of Nat Geo TV.