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The Lioness & the Leopard

Premieres: Southeast Asia on Nov 10 at 9:00 pm; North Asia on Sept 27 at 10:00 pm; Australasia on Dec 5 at 6:30 pm


Lion and leopards have always fought to the death. Rivals on the same hunting grounds, they are deadly enemies. In addition, they are complete opposites as their temperament, style of hunting, and the way they raise their young differ vastly. Just as humans say that opposites attract, even the most bitter adversaries in the animal kingdom can forge bonds. This month, Animal Planet's THE LIONESS & THE LEOPARD witnesses the unprecedented story of two wild queens of the savannah and their most uncommon friendship.

THE LIONESS & THE LEOPARD are both wildlife royalty - sleek feline predators that exude confidence and power. However, struggling for supremacy over the same territory and competing for similar game has made their clans warring enemies. Filmed over several years, THE LIONESS & THE LEOPARD follows two orphans as they grow and develop against the normal course of nature in South Africa's Tshukudu Reserve.

Mandla the leopard was injured by another leopard shortly after she was born, while Tamu the lioness was abandoned by her mother. Picked up by farmers, the two played and grew up together but were dropped back into the wild shortly after turning two. After being reintroduced into the wild, the two cubs realised not just their freedom but also the fears and solitary gains of being left to fend for themselves. As cubs, their fates were closely linked and defied the law of the savannah for the time being. Inevitably, hunger drives them apart as it brings out the innate nature of the different species: Mandla is resourceful while Tamu is nonchalant; Mandla hunts alone but Tamu hunts with a clan; and Mandla guides while Tamu follows and observes.

Will nature prevail? Will their natural instincts overcome their friendship and destroy the trust built up over the years? Find out when THE LIONESS & THE LEOPARD premieres on Animal Planet this month.