News from the Natural World: South African Beauty is the latest to be linked with the famous leading man.
A single mother living in a remote part of the Kalahari has been thrust into the limelight after becoming the star of her own TV series, co-hosted by a celebrated presenter.
Cheetah mum Savannah recently appeared in ‘Cheetah Family & Me’ alongside Scottish broadcaster Gordon Buchanan. The series saw Gordon trying to keep up with Savannah as she navigated the trials of trying to keep her children fed in a period when food was often hard to come by. The legendary cameraman and presenter can be heard repeatedly referring to Savannah as a beauty. In addition, he has clearly been moved by her situation. Doing his utmost to bring the plight of Savannah, and other cheetahs, to the fore.
Your correspondent was able to arrange an exclusive interview with Savannah. So we set off to ask about the experience of working with a veteran of so many excellent natural history programmes:
South African Beauty is Latest to be Linked with Famous Leading Man
How did it feel when you first realised Gordon was interested in you?
Savannah: Well the fact that he was on foot would have marked him out straight away. It’s only ever guides and camera crews who are allowed to walk in the reserve. But cheetahs have excellent eyesight and I recognised him at once, especially because he has curly greying hair. Which I think makes him look a bit like a cheetah cub, he’s super cute! More importantly, he’s absolutely the human you want to have pointing a camera at you right now. So it sort of felt like a prayer had been answered.
Why were you specifically keen to be filmed by Gordon?
Savannah: Gordon takes time over his subjects. He does his best to follow you around for a few weeks, and to spread his visits out over a few months so that you really get to know him and he you, and I think that makes the viewer more involved. I love David Attenborough and all those other filmmakers too, but they spend 10 minutes on a species and that’s your lot. With Gordon you know that you’re the star of the show, it’s about you; your problems, your name in the titles, so it’s an amazing platform to highlight the issues you’re facing. Even if some shirty little wildcat tries to get in on it.