Tuesday, April 26, 2011

African Cats

Disney’s “African Cats” tells a somewhat universal tale for African
wildlife and will remind most adults of the Sunday nights and the
“Wonderful World of Disney.”

The setting is Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve and follows the lives of
two female cats – a cheetah named Cita and a lioness named Layla.

While the setting is far north of Mbabne, Swaziland (one of Fort Worth’s
Sister Cities), there are some similarities in wildlife and terrain.

I realize the danger in saying Swaziland is like Kenya. It’s like saying
Houston is like Dallas/Fort Worth and El Paso.

But for me, the most important parallel is educating others about wildlife
and ecological conservation across Africa. My oldest son, age 5, was
mesmerized – as was my mother-in-law. And that is perhaps the best part of
this documentary. It can galvanize across the generations.

Beautiful cinematography and an interesting storyline are melded together
in this film. It also comes with educational materials that can be
downloaded from the Disney Nature website.

Swaziland is home to cheetahs, lions, elephants, hyenas and many other
animals featured in this film.

Swaziland too is home to several species that are threatened. The Black
Rhino is critically endangered (the species is in imminent risk of
extinction in the wild.). Marley’s Golden Mole and the African Wild
Dog/Painted Dog are two Swazi animals listed as endangered (the species is
facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.).

For information about Swaziland nature reserves, visit the Swaziland
National Trust Commission web site.