The Desert Lions

In the forbidding Namib Desert, along the Skeleton Coast of Namibia, Dr. Philip (Flip) Stander tracks a mysterious and remarkable quarry: lions.

The animals are some of the world’s most intriguing and unique populations of lions, yet very little is known about them. Dr. Stander is passionate about studying them and helping them to survive. The lions, and Stander’s efforts to understand their secrets, are featured in NATURE’s The Desert Lions.

On the Web site for The Desert Lions, you’ll learn more about Dr. Flip Stander and the animals he’s dedicated his life to tracking and studying. Find out about the unique family structure of the lions, and why their conservation is so vital. Discover the Namib Desert and how its inhabitants, animal and human, are able to survive. Buy the DVD. This film premiered December 2007.

  • Tha.Namashivayam

    I like to contribute with my Photo-clips, How can I join with you.

  • jack

    What the heck?? There is some opera on instead PBS why should i keep sending you money if you wont deliver what u promise?

  • Leah

    I’m with Jack! What a huge disappointment! My husband and I waited for a week for this program and now (despite three digital channels) our local PBS station decides to dump it for some ridiculous program about personal finance? Makes me question if our membership dollars are being well spent.

  • NATURE Online

    Jack and Leah – We apologize if your local station did not air the program you expected. Programming varies from station to station, which is why we always recommend that you check your local listings by clicking the “schedule” tab at the top of our site.

  • Rick

    Nature – Thanks! Great suggestion. I went to the schedule and found Desert Lions on a 4am tomorrow.

  • Shelly Davis

    I watched this special Sunday morning on 12/06/09 and was very impressed with this Doctor’s dedication.

  • tahira

    well i 4 one would wonder if all this could be avioid in the future if the friggin station would announe that it was coming on at a different time

  • Michael

    I’m frustrated. It’s 8:09 CST and I don’t see a Nature program about lions. They’re showing a program on hummingbirds, this could be interesting but I’m not happy. I’ve been waiting to learn about the lions all week.

  • Kris

    The show tonight of the Desert Lions was great and I would like to learn more and hear from Dr. Stander. Is there any way to chat with him and get updates of the liosn since the recording of the program?


  • David

    This is on at 3:00 today so I’ll watch it then! Looks great! But why isnt there a full-episode watch online yet?

  • Desert Lions

    Watched the episode on desert lions last night I found while flipping channels. Found it fascnitating. I want to see more on these lions and if they made it to the coast to munch on some seals.

  • David

    This was one of those great Nature episodes! Great job! Did the lions make it to the shore to hunt the seals? I wish there were updates… Nice job!

  • Don Wilson

    A friend called me to ask if I had senn the show title Desert Lions….it was not listed here in BC with PBS station KCTS 9. Can you suggest how I can see this episode. I checked your online listing and it is not there yet. Will it be sometime soon.

    Cheers………Don Wilson.

  • P.Rotj

    This message is for Dr. Stander;
    I just caught the last 20 min. of Desert Lions with Dr. Phillip Stander. I was wondering why people don’t use rubber bullets to keep lions from getting too close to live stock or people rather than shooting them if they become a problem. While you were watching the sisters at night and they were getting to close to the village I kept waiting to hear that you would try shooting them in the butt with rubber bullets but it didn’t happen. Wouldn’t this be a good deterent? I think it iwould be something you could try to see if it would disuade lions from coming to close and put the idea into their heads that getting too close to live stock or humans could be painful to them.
    What do you thini of this idea?

  • Stefan

    Hi, is it possible to order a DVD?

  • Tw

    So sad. I think they got wiped out.

  • MiketheElectrician

    I saw this program, what a wonderful program. I sure hope that those lions find the “hidden” secret of the harbor seals. I sure do not understand why people are so short sited when it comes to their natural gems. I sure would think that eco-tourism dollars would overwhelm what money can be made from the destruction of these noble creatures. For those who have not had luck finding this program, did they go to the available browswer that lists the day and times for a variety of PBS programs.

  • MiketheElectrician

    As a reply to P.Rotj, I had the same thought and agree that rubber bullets may be a good tool.Especially if there is a loud enough sound. I think a few times the lions will learn what areas they can be safe.

  • Catherine

    I am so fortunate to be able to watch this special ( to me!!) Lion episode tonight –thank goodness for re-runs~! I have been catching some truly amazing episodes! Let’s hope the Desert Lion population can continue to survive and thrive! I’d love to get an update. and a HUGE thanks to Flip for bringing this episode “into my home” for me to enjoy!

  • Abera demissie

    Dr. phillip, eventhough you don’t have to interfere with the prey and predator game in the wild sense ,I think it wasn’t wise to let the sisters kill those innocent docile donkeys . they weren’t even killing to eat them .They did it
    for fun.that was amistake in my opinion.But I appreciate your effort to save the species for future generation.

  • Tyler

    Hi nature,is the full episode avalible online?I don’t have a tv,but i would like to see it.Thanks

  • Theo Kleanthous

    Saw the desert lion programme tonight. The relationship between the lions and villagers was like nature’spoetry. For all the power of the re-emerging lions, that shadow of our species was scary. Seems from some reading, that the biggest problem is the wrong mix of do gooders and money is involved. Meanwhile the good doctor has the bravery and honesty to keep the villagers informed of what could finish his own studies.

    Wouldn’t it be easier to get the villagers trained to live with the lions, stop all hunting, so that they became the area’s guardians, earning from this, rather than kiling lions to safeguard their donkeys.

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