Last Saturday evening, after seeing and reading bad news – record COVID-19 cases, businesses going bust as the restrictions resulting from the pandemic continues to take its toll, I was looking for some news to brighten up my mood. Hoping for some entertainment I switched on the TV. There was no live broadcast of games in sports I follow. Aimlessly surfing through the channels I found the perfect go to channel for such times: PBS! 👍 They were airing back to back one-hour documentaries on wild cats. I settled down and started watching midway through the first hour of the documentary.
The first hour featured wild cats of America and traced their journey through Asia. Majestic mountain lion (cougar) in the wilds around LA area was the first creature featured When I started watching. Those cats certainly know how to hide their kill and come back to savor their meal for multiple helpings spread over time. The documentary then featured margays and ocelots (these are wild cats found in Central and South America and I did not know about them earlier). It appears the ocelots have a keen sense of smell that is also used to find their mate! They showed a rescued ocelot being trained to develop its sense of smell before being released to the wild. In this particularly interesting segment a wildlife worker, who had developed a special relationship with a young ocelot over a year, sprayed perfumes on three tree stumps. The brands were Chanel, Estée Lauder and Calvin Klein. 🙂 I know you are interested in knowing which brand interested the wild cat the most. 😃 Estée Lauder was the most preferred brand by the cat. Chanel did not have a sniffing chance after that 😂 The next big cat on display was the magnificent jaguar, known for its size, ferocity and allround ability in terms of climbing trees and swimming too in addition to its predatory instincts. Seeing the jaguar silently attacking and overpowering a caiman was absolutely terrifying and thrilling at the same time. The documentary then moved east and covered Siamese cats and the tiny rusty-spotted cat, found in the forests of Sri Lanka. These little cats go for smaller prey like locusts and are no less ferocious. It seems as part of evolution some of the cats downsized and adapted for smaller bites on offer. The second hour took one to Africa where the wildlife workers were releasing wild dogs to restore balance in the wild. Lions and the rarely sighted leopard also featured in this hour.
I have always been amazed by the passion and dedication of wildlife researchers, photographers and workers. They must find their experience so rewarding that they are able to work for months and years in extreme and potentially risky conditions. Kudos to their efforts and thanks to them for expanding our knowledge of other forms of life around us. 👏 There is also a timelessness to documentaries and other shows on PBS and on some days when you need a mood lift these shows can be quite timely too. Trusty, old PBS 👌 certainly trumps crusty, old men fighting for power, covered on other TV channels. Long live public television and more power to those who support the endeavor 👍🙏