Dynasties – BBC1

Sir David Attenborough narrates footage of lions on Kenya's Masai Mara in the third episode of his latest stunning wildlife documentary – Dynasties

Sir David Attenborough narrates footage of lions on Kenya’s Masai Mara in the third episode of his latest stunning wildlife documentary – Dynasties

Having already observed chimpanzees and penguins, the series on family dynamics in the animal world continues with a focus on Kenya’s Marsh Pride of lions.

These lions live in the Masai Mara, but now face disaster as the adult males who protected them have abandoned the group.

So, it’s left up to lioness Charm and her cousin Sienna to feed and protect their youngsters and keep them safe from other lions, hyenas and crocodiles.

Tragically, though, this episode shows that the biggest threat Africa’s lions now face is being poisoned by farmers trying to protect their livestock.

Can Charm keep her pride alive and beat the odds to ensure the Marsh Pride’s
dynasty survives?

They may be one of the world’s greatest predators, but lions in Africa face an 
epic battle
for survival.

Dynasties - Lion

Charm, the matriarch of the Marsh Pride, looks out over the Masai Mara

For this week’s episode of BBC1’s Dynasties, the team spent nearly two years following the trials and tribulations of lioness Charm, as she leads the Marsh pride in the Masai Mara game reserve in the Kenyan savannah.

Here, Sir David Attenborough, 92, guides us through Charm’s fight to save her family’s future…

Pride and glory
With the adult males having abandoned them, Charm heads up her 10-strong pride with help from 
her cousin Sienna.

‘The pride has 
always thrived through 
an alliance between powerful alpha males 
and experienced females,’ 
Sir David explains. 
‘Now, if the young are 
to reach adulthood and the dynasty return to 
full strength, Charm must protect the whole family.’

Troubled teens
Charm’s daughter Yaya offers vital support as a hunter, but her son Tatu and his cousin Red land themselves in peril.

‘As they mature, young males explore the boundaries of the pride’s territory,’ says Sir David. ‘Adolescent Tatu tests his growing strength versus a two-tonne angry hippo, while Red ventures out alone and blunders into a hyena clan. He’s trapped by over 20 of them, and they could kill him…’

Human threat
The pride also faces a terrifying man-made danger when herdsmen lay out poisoned bait to protect their livestock, which the lions are preying on. ‘Lions can’t tell when 
a meal is toxic,’ says Sir David. ‘Poisoning 
is one of the biggest threats that lions across Africa face today.’

TV Times rating: HHHH