MUMBAI: While most fear them, watch Craig Busch handle the king of the jungle with astounding flair and courage, in Animal Planet’s all new series THE LION MAN: AFRICAN SAFARI. Founder of the Zion Wildlife Gardens, Kiwi farm boy Craig Busch is a self-taught wild cat trainer and has dedicated his life to the welfare and breeding of the big cats.
Starting July 1st, join Craig on THE LION MAN: AFRICAN SAFARI, as he tracks down poachers and fight devastating bushfires, every night at 9 pm on Animal Planet.
Craig’s unique sanctuary, Zion Wildlife Gardens, in the north island of New Zealand, is home to some of the most endangered animals on the planet. He has created a haven for rare, endangered cats such as white Bengal Tigers, Barbary Lions and White Lions at the reserve. Working for over 30 years with these animals, his ‘not-so-easy’ job includes bottle feeding lions almost four times a day, supervising their health, and managing a park spread over 500 acres of land.
THE LION MAN: AFRICAN SAFARI follows Busch and the park's employees as they manage the park and its collection of approximately 30 lions and tigers of various species, and other animals like rhinos and elephants. The series sees Craig heading on a new adventure, traveling to the ancestral land of lions – Africa – on a mission to help save these animals. He travels to Timbavati, home to the world’s only white lions in the wild to offer viewers rare glimpses of the cat. Craig visits VulPro, the vulture conservation program in Africa and engages with Kerry Wolter who has been working on the birds’ rehabilitation initiative. The episodes trail his journey as he helps relocate Siberian tigers to new enclosures and meets local volunteers who share common passion and care for the young cats.
The series documents Craig’s mission and a passionate band of animal-loving supporters who have been searching for missing cheetahs, heal desperately ill tigers, and track down unscrupulous rhino killers. He has also sought out like-minded animal experts and conservationists around the globe (including "Wolf Man" Shaun Ellis) to help with his cause. Along the way, he has adopted and raised many orphaned baby animals like an orphaned White Lion cub named Jabullah and lovingly hand-rears several Barbary Lion cubs. Craig has been traveling across the world to exchange the cubs, in order to enhance the blood lines of some of the rare cat and has helped to bring them back from the brink of extinction.