Big Cats About the House: Family gets a new REAL jaguar | Nature | News

Big Cats About the House is a new BBC Two observational documentary series that charts the story of Maya the black jaguar cub and Willow, a young cheetah.

Mr Clark became a television hit when the BBC previously featured his work as head of big cats at Steve Irwin’s famous Australia Zoo.

Now he has returned to the UK for his biggest challenge: to run the Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent, with a dream of building a centre of global conservation excellence, while also helping to give Maya and Willow a great start in life.

As Mr Clark invites the cubs to share their daily lives with his own family, fiancée Kathryn and daughter Sam, he soon finds out how cute baby jaguars grow into mischievous minxes.

And, unlike young moggies, they can pack a punch.

Maya arrived at the centre when she was five days old after being neglected by her mother. She was weak and vulnerable and unlikely to survive.

Mr Clark said: “In her first few months she needed care around the clock so I took her home, but now she is eight months old, is a rambunctious and loveable character and has settled into life at the sanctuary.

“For me, raising Maya has been hard work, a team effort and you can never underestimate the commitment it takes, but it’s a privilege nonetheless to be up close to a developing jaguar and witness her wild instincts emerging first hand.

“Maya is a powerful predator and I never take her abilities for granted.

“Her future is bright at the sanctuary and very soon she will be moving into a brand new enclosure. I hope that she helps to inspire a generation of people that will want to help protect her cousins in the wild.”

The documentary highlights Mr Clark’s work at the Big Cat Sanctuary, where he has his hands full improving the lives of the 50 felines who live there and are ambassadors for their wild cousins. Cameras also follow him to Cambodia to see the conservation issues facing the country’s beautiful clouded leopards.

He said: “In an ideal world all thirty-eight species of cats would live free from threat in the wild.

“Sadly, we don’t live in an ideal world and now a staggering 80 percent of these iconic and much loved predators are considered to be endangered.

“Experts believe that we could see mass extinctions of big cats within 10 years unless something is done about it. I would go further and describe many felines as now clinging on by their claws.”

Big Cats About the House. Episode One. BBC Two March 22, 8pm.

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