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Lions: Now or Never
In the last 50 years, lions in Africa & India have plummeted 80%. Just 20,000 remain. Trophy hunters claim their industry is the last chance for the species. This series cuts to the heart of the lion conservation debate in two powerful episodes, asking what value we place on nature.
Documentary, Natural History, Environmental
Zee Plus

The first episode 'Hunter's Playground' unpacks the headlines of the trophy hunting debate with the emotionally charged story that thrust sport hunting into the limelight: Cecil the lion. Using archive and testimony the film reveals what really happened and why it matters, asking what the future holds for lions. Professional hunter Paul Stones argues the case that the hunting industry can save Africa’s wildlife and in Gujurat's Gir Forest we meet the characters successfully working to bring back lions in India, in an area once devastated by rampant trophy hunting.

In episode 2, 'Predator in my Garden', we pull back to view a much bigger problem for the world's most iconic species. With the booming human population encroaching ever further into wild areas, we meet local communities in Africa and India living alongside lions, exploring the conflicting relationship humans have with them. We love them and yet we fear them. Can humans ever live side by side with apex predators? In Gir Forest and in Kenya, we discover enlightening stories of how people are learning to adapt their culture for conservation; to see lions as assets to be protected rather than pests to be culled.

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Behind the scenes
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Telling this very emotive story and negotiating access to the people who could share their stories took patience and understanding.

Both sides of the hunting debate feel supremely passionately about their points of view and we wanted the images and the contributors to explain their thinking.

This was Zee's first wildlife/ conservation documentary commission. Talesmith worked very closely with them to create this compelling film to announce their entry into the genre.

Filmed in Zimbabwe, India and Kenya.

TVF are distributing the series around the globe.


Directors: Wael Dabbous & Kenny Scott

Executive Producer: Martin Williams

Cinematographer: Paul Williams

Producer: Amabel Adcock

Line Producer: Elisabeth Pinto

Editor: Joe Snell

Hunt the lion: Save the species?