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NATURE: The Desert Lions

Airs Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: A young lioness in the Namib Desert on Africa's wild and forbidding Skeleton Coast.

The world's most extraordinary population of lions lives in the Namib Desert on Africa's wild and forbidding Skeleton Coast.

Lioness in the desert at dawn
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Above: Lioness in the desert at dawn

Philip Stander, a Namibian carnivore specialist, first spotted these desert lions in the mid-1980s, watching in disbelief as a lioness killed a fur seal in the waves and dragged it five miles inland to feed her cubs. Before he had a chance to study them further, they disappeared. Stander became obsessed with their fate and their story.

Twenty years later, the lions reappeared, giving him a second chance to unravel their secrets. The lions, and Stander’s efforts to understand their secrets, are featured in "Nature: The Desert Lions."

NATURE is on Facebook, and you can follow @PBSNature on Twitter.

Video

Preview: Nature: The Desert Lions

Above: In "The Desert Lions" NATURE tracks one of the planet's most extraordinary and elusive lion populations, learning their secrets of survival in the harsh desert along Namibia's Skeleton Coast. Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham narrates the film, part of the 28th season of the Peabody and Emmy award-winning series produced by Thirteen in association with WNET.ORG for PBS. Major corporate support provided by Canon U.S.A. Inc.

Video

Video Excerpt: Nature: The Desert Lions

Above: In this video excerpt from "The Desert Lions," lion expert Dr. Flip Stander changes the battery of a GPS collar he uses to track a rare and elusive lioness in the Namib Desert -- and takes the opportunity to inspect her teeth and claws as well. Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham narrates the film.