Deep in the Namibian bush, INTO THE PRIDE follows Canadian zoologist and renowned apex predator expert, Dave Salmoni, on a six-month assignment – ALONE – to settle the ultimate turf war between a pride of troubled lions and its human neighbours. Premiering Monday, October 12 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT on Animal Planet, INTO THE PRIDE captures the most transformative mission of Salmoni’s career: to rehabilitate a pride of “last chance” lions and save them from elimination. Testing his knowledge, experience and safety, Salmoni puts everything on the line – including his life – to immerse himself in the deadly wildlife of Africa and play peacemaker with a pride of rogue lions. As eco-tourism takes hold in Namibia and human contact spreads further into the very terrain it seeks to protect, Africa’s wildlife perceives a threat, and Salmoni’s job is to ensure the two species can harmoniously share the land they both depend on for survival.
After spending much time in the “urban jungle” as a host and executive producer, Salmoni seizes the ultimate opportunity to reconnect with two of his lasting passions – the serenity and solitude of living in the wild and his love of big cats, particularly lions. Leaving the city life of Toronto behind, Salmoni heads on a tenuous journey setting up camp deep within Namibia’s Erindi Private Game Reserve.
INTO THE PRIDE extends far beyond Salmoni’s personal journey. As their last chance for survival, Salmoni must help a pride of “problem lions” learn to accept humans and support the growing eco-tourism in the area. These cats, transplanted from the largest national park in Namibia, are known for cattle raiding and aggression towards humans. If they don’t calm down, they will be destroyed. Salmoni’s challenge is immediate; he’ll need to get as close to the lions as possible – dangerously close. INTO THE PRIDE follows Salmoni as he heads straight into the fray to ingratiate himself among the lions and become the first human they can trust. It’s an emotional journey told through Salmoni’s compelling personal narrative as he attempts to forge a relationship with every lion, from Brutus, the dominant male, to Rough and Tumble, the youngest cubs.
INTO THE PRIDE is just as much about the man as it is about the beasts that he encounters. Accompanied by a camera crew by day and left completely alone once darkness falls, Salmoni spends each solitary night with African game roaming right through his campground. He awakens early each and every morning determined to get closer and closer to the lions he’s trying to save. The experience will change him every bit as much as it changes the lions.
“INTO THE PRIDE seamlessly combines the personal journey of Animal Planet favourite, Dave Salmoni, with the feral beauty of the lions and the visually breathtaking setting of Africa,” said Stan Lipsey, Director of Programming for Animal Planet. “It’s not to be missed!”
Dave Salmoni is Animal Planet’s apex predator expert and is host of a number of Animal Planet and Discovery Channel programs including ROGUE NATURE, PREDATOR VS. PREY, INTO THE LION’S DEN and AFTER THE ATTACK, all series that he hosts and produces. His latest project, INTO THE PRIDE, is a five-part series that explores Salmoni’s personal journey to the African bush to explore the complex structure and relationships among a pride of lions. Salmoni’s next production, SAVAGED, will premiere in the Winter/Spring of 2010 on Discovery HD.