04 February 2023 18:30

MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Lions once roamed from the southern tip of Africa all the way to northwestern India. But today, their populations have declined drastically in Africa.

Since 1975, 80-90% of the African lion population has been decimated, due to hunting, habitat loss, and disease. Several efforts are on-going to help save these animals, which play an important role in the food chain and Africa’s ecosystem.

There is a place in Africa where you can walk with lions. Where you can be part of the pride. And this is exactly what a group of volunteers are doing, as they take part in a unique conservation programme at Zimbabwe’s Antelope Park. Animal Planet’s new series LODGING WITH LIONS follows the volunteers as they venture into the lions’ domain and find out more about these majestic animals – from how they hunt and stalk their prey, to how they play and nurture their young. This July, LODGING WITH LIONS airs on Animal Planet, every Monday to Friday at 9 pm.

At Antelope Park, Zimbabwe, a group of volunteers from all over the world have signed up for a unique conservation programme, which is part of the efforts of the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT). For their own safety and survival, the volunteers must first learn how to read a lion’s posture, how to approach the lions in a non-threatening manner, and what to do when faced with a dangerous situation. Dan Matthews, who heads the volunteer programme, then introduces the volunteers to the lions affectionately known as the ‘Ds’ and the ‘Rs’. Over the course of two weeks, the volunteers will observe the lions, walk with them, watch them feed their cubs, follow them on hunts, and even tag them with microchips to obtain invaluable data which could help save lion populations. They also witness firsthand the devastating effects of poaching, and discover that in the African bush there are other dangers apart from wild beasts.

Follow these passionate volunteers who are LODGING WITH LIONS, discover the threats faced by the African lions, and find out what is being done to save these iconic animals known as ‘The King of the Beasts’.


Episode 1 - New volunteers arrive at Antelope Park and Dan, the manager, takes them through the procedure of walking with lions. Natalia, one of the lion management interns feeds three baby cubs. The volunteers build a boma to entice zebra and wildebeest to come and eat. Once trapped the prey species will be transported to the release site. In the early evening the R lions make an impala kill on a walk.

Episode 2 - The volunteers participate in an exciting game capture mission. Once the boma is completed, the helicopter drives wildebeest into the funnel and the impala get caught up in the nets. Two intern researchers observe how lions react to different species and find out that catnip really does have a euphoric reaction. We learn about the cubs’ eating habits. A devastating poaching incident is discovered during a snare sweep. And a bush fire runs wild as the volunteers fight to control it.

Episode 3 - Dan takes the Rs on a routine walk that lead to a few chases. Volunteers make an enrichment toy for the lions in the form of a zebra skin with wooden legs! This gets the lions’ curiosity buzzing with excitement as they attack it. Leigh-Anne and the interns dart a microchip into the cubs. The Ds sharpen their hunting tactics and put their skills to the test as they chase after the prey, but did not succeed. A delicious snack is hidden in the enclosure for the lions to find.

Episode 4 - In this episode we catch the cubs being energetic on their routine walk. Leigh-Anne tries everything to trick the elephants for deworming. It takes a lot to mask the smell but they manage to do it in the end. Cub spoor is carefully measured and assessed for statistics. The volunteers visit and explore the local orphanage that Antelope Park supports. The lions show how high they are willing to jump for what they want, and the filming quad chopper has a narrow escape!

Episode 5 - A celebrity guest to Antelope Park studying human body language goes on her first lion walk and is intrigued by the various lion body language cues. Volunteers get their hands dirty in meat prep for a cub feast. The lions try to take on a zebra herd, and the volunteers come face to face with charging wildebeest and zebra. Laeli and Leywa take down an impala in front of Nicola, the celebrity guest, leaving her feeling shocked and amazed.

Episode 6 - Volunteers get down and dirty as they make a mud wallow for the elephants. A new volunteer group is introduced to the cubs and they get to learn the rules and regulations. Nathan teaches how to habituate animals in the new boma. Volunteers put in hard work as they repair huge gullies in the road. The Ngamo pride has an exciting hunt as a herd of wildebeest comes trotting right into the lions’ path. We then say farewell to some faithful volunteers.

Episode 7 - Dala and Rusizi go exploring and take great delight in getting wet in the process. The elephants put on an animated show for the horse safari at the Antelope Park dam. Leigh-Anne darts a male lion for relocation. A harrowing tale is told by Megan, the lion researcher whose father was killed by lions several years ago. Matthew, a photography intern captures a lion kill on his camera and he relays the story.

Episode 8 - Join Kate as she walks with lions for the first time and experiences them on the hunt for zebra. The two lions try their luck all morning but the zebra stallions dominate them. Volunteers are put to the test while building a hide to observe vultures from close range. Kate helps out during the lion enrichment building, and also experiences the gory side of Antelope Park.

Episode 9 - The volunteers witness a different side to elephants, as they are protected by the pachyderms during a wildebeest intrusion. Close encounters on a horse safari get the horses hot and bothered. Leigh-Anne darts a lioness for relocation. For the first time, the Antelope Park has six lions that go out on a walk together.

Episode 10 - Volunteers witness an exciting chase by the lions as they attempt to pursue wildebeest. A baby mongoose that was abandoned by its mother is found, and this new arrival is already making Antelope Part its home! Leigh-Anne needs to dart another lioness for relocation. The elephants of the park overwhelm an individual out on an elephant walk.

Episode 11 - Photographic volunteer witnesses Wakanaka kill an impala and was able to capture it on her camera. Leigh-Anne builds a den in preparation for a new cub. A zebra stallion attacks Ruvubu and bites her flank, and the cubs discover a tortoise on a walk.

Episode 12 - Leigh-Anne introduces us to the latest cub additions to the park. The cubs’ climbing abilities are put to the test on a walk. Nathan encounters two lionesses that succeed in killing an impala in the darkness – all of which is captured on camera by the photography intern. Volunteers say goodbye to the cubs on their final walk.

Episode 13 - The cubs are lively and playful on their morning walk. Volunteers are introduced to a different species… snakes! Nathan then shows them how to release snakes back into the bush. The T’s try their luck with a herd of wildebeest. A research intern talks about her experiments with the pride. The lions go on an exhilarating night encounter and take down an impala.

Watch the fascinating story of the Mughal Empire on Monday, 27 July at 9 PM

Humayun’s Tomb has stood through the great turning points in India’s history. Built over four centuries ago, this architectural masterpiece has served as a template for the Taj Mahal. There have been many theories behind the building of this colossal structure – ‘a symbol of queen’s love for her king’, ‘a son’s memorial to his father’, and ‘an ambitious emperor’s statement of the empire.’

Discovery Channel will air the exclusive programme - REVEALED: HUMAYUN’S TOMB on Monday, 27 July at 9pm. The one-hour special will unravel many concealed secrets of this architectural marvel and narrate the majestic story behind the life of the Mughal Emperor Humayun and his dynasty. From Humayun’s exile in Persia to his death as he tumbled down his library staircase to the rise of Akbar ‘The Great’, Revealed: Humayun’s Tomb will reveal many such intriguing stories. This is the first time ever that a true-to-scale 3D frames of the complex structure have been created.

Using dramatic re-enactment, high-end Computer Generated Imager (CGI) animation, extensive research, expert opinion, Discovery Channel has re-created the imagery of the early Mughal era and its key characters.

Commenting on the programme, Rahul Johri, EVP & GM-South Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific said, “Our programming strand Revealed uncovers significant stories from India. In the past, Revealed has featured The Line of Control, World’s Biggest Election, the Rann of Kutch among others and now we are bringing the Humayun’s Tomb. This programme will provide our audience the fascinating story of the early Mughal Empire and will uncover secrets about this amazing structure.”

Running parallel to the historical theme, the programme will also follow the restoration work undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in partnership with Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to meticulously restore the lost grandeur of the monument.

Revealed: Humayun’s Tomb will also air on Discovery HD World at 9 PM on 27th July.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015 00:00

YRF Magic now on HOOQ

Over 30,000 hours of Hollywood, Bollywood, regional and local content now available to Indians

HOOQ, Asia’s premium video-on-demand service, has announced that it will be adding a host of content from the rich catalogue of Yash Raj Films to the recently launched service in India. These latest additions provide a significant boost to its already extensive catalogue of Hollywood, regional and local movies and TV series for all Indians to enjoy.

Iconic movies from Yash Raj Films, from classics like Kaala Patthar, Kabhi Kabhie, Silsila to gems like Rocket Singh - Salesman of the Year and Kabul Express are now available on HOOQ.  Users can relive these magical blockbuster movies on HOOQ wherever, whenever and however they wish to.

With the addition of these popular movies, HOOQ is now offering over 30,000 hours of Hollywood, Bollywood, regional and local content, further solidifying HOOQ’s vision to be the country’s largest and most premier subscription video-service to date.

Speaking on this new partnership, Mr. Anand Gurnani, Vice President – Digital at Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd. said, “Yash Raj Films has always strived to bring the best cinematic entertainment experiences for the Indian audiences - be it through content or latest technologies.  With this association, we are giving the viewers an option to watch and relive their favourite YRF movies.  As a platform HOOQ makes us confident that together we will be able to bring alive an exciting and satisfying experience for the users by giving them access to best quality content available at their fingertips.”

Krishnan Rajagopalan, Co-founder and Chief Content & Distribution Officer at HOOQ said, “We are very excited to partner with Yash Raj Films, one of the most respected studios in the country, to bring the magic of their films to HOOQ”. He further added, “We have received very encouraging feedback from both consumers and the trade regarding the service, and going forward will continue to add a range of International and Indian movies & TV series to meet the voracious entertainment appetite of the Indian users.”

Other movies from YRF which users can find on HOOQ will include Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge, Aaja Nachle, Ta Ra Rum Pum, Mashaal, Noorie, and Daag among others.

HOOQ has truly paved the way for a digital revolution in the world of entertainment in India.  For an amazing price of only Rs. 199 a month, users have access to unlimited Bollywood, local and Hollywood entertainment, which can be viewed on five Internet-enabled devices.  Users can share the HOOQ experience with their loved ones and friends, as they can stream simultaneously on two devices – on just one subscription.  HOOQ also offers a unique offline download feature of up to five (5) titles at a time ensuring that there is always video content to be enjoyed even when users are offline or facing connectivity challenges.

Ranks #3 in the FMCG category by The Economic Times’ Great Places to Work Survey 2015

The Great Place to Work Institute has been recognized as the world’s largest and most respected set of studies of workplace excellence, management and the role of trust in workplace culture across more than 7000 organizations from over 50 countries.

The Institute’s prestigious study has honored Marico Limited  which is ranked as #75 overall, as one of the most definitive employer-of-choice for its strong culture of inspiring empowerment and innovation, encouraging transparency and openness, imparting mutual respect and instilling the feeling of trust, pride and camaraderie among its employees. Along with employee feedback, the study assessed the employee-centric framework and management practices of organizations. It is also significant to note that the companies featured continue to deliver superior financial performance and Marico is one of them.

Mr. Ashutosh Telang, Chief Human Resource Officer, Marico Limited said, “We are proud to be recognized as one of the Best Companies to Work For in the FMCG space. At Marico, we offer all our members a well-defined talent value proposition to continuously challenge, enrich and fulfill the aspirations of Mariconians allowing them to maximize their true potential to ‘make a difference’. At Marico, we constantly strive to build a workplace that fosters innovation and growth, giving each member the opportunity to write the growth story of the company, as if it’s their own.”

Monday, 13 July 2015 00:00

Nat Geo to premiere Mission Pluto

Nat Geo hosts the one-hour special, which gains unprecedented access to an incredible journey more than nine years, 700 million dollars and over 3 billion miles in the making

On 14 July NASA’s spacecraft New Horizons is scheduled to make a historic flyby of Pluto. This will be a culmination of an incredible space journey that began nine years ago, when New Horizons was launched into space. Since then, the spacecraft has covered over 3 billion miles in this historic mission to the edge of the solar system. New Horizon’s goal is to capture the first clear images and any other data for Pluto.

Nat Geo’s Mission Pluto, premiering on the same day as the spacecraft is schedule to do a flyby of Pluto, will take an in-depth look at the ambitious project from start to finish, leading into the final hours of the epic journey. The episode will give an unprecedented access to showcase how the mission was put together. It will also feature the people who made it all possible, like mission leader Dr. Alan Stern, a veteran of 24 previous NASA missions, who comments, “The people on this team, most of them have worked on [the mission] for a very big portion of their careers. When you put that much time and effort into a project, you’re pretty excited when you’re on Pluto’s doorstep.”

Mission Pluto is yet another example of spectacular space related content that Nat Geo endeavors to bring time and again for the viewer. When it comes to content showcasing the wonders of space, the channel’s credibility is unmatched. Apart from the pedigree of the brand, what helps is the fact that Nat Geo lays a special emphasis on topical and relevant content – like the Rosetta Special episode the channel premiered last year.

Along with showcasing an event leading to an historic moment for the world, Mission Pluto is also a treat to watch simply because of the cinematographic brilliance of the content.

This Mission Pluto special, hosted by Jason Silva, who is also the host of NGC’s hit series, Brain Games, will premiere globally on National Geographic Channels across 170 countries in 45 languages.

On July 14, 2015, when the spacecraft arrives, it will speed by Pluto at close to 9 miles per second without any means of stopping. The core flyby will last less than two hours, creating a very tight window for the spacecraft to photograph Pluto, map the surface, analyze the atmosphere, and examine the geology of the surface. There are chances that the mission fails, but if it doesn’t Nat Geo will have the first ever pictures of Pluto which will be released a couple of days after the Mission Pluto episode has premiered.

Tune-in to National Geographic Channel to watch Mission Pluto on 14July at 10 PM


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