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Nat Geo WILD Announces Powerful Earth Day Programming Lineup

NAT GEO WILD will celebrate Earth Day by shining a light on the wildlife advocates who inspire us to take care of our world and the animals who live in it. Beginning with premieres of the best short films from this year's Wild to Inspire competition on Friday, April 22, at 6:30/5:30c, and continuing with an investigation into the new threats facing wild orangutans in Mission Critical: Orangutan on the Edge at 9/8c, we will celebrate by honoring the people who get their hands dirty making the world a better place. For more information, visit or our press site, or follow us on Twitter using @NGC_PR.

"Nat Geo WILD is dedicated to animals and the people who love them, and Earth Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate those brave individuals who use their creative talents to inspire change," said Janet Han Vissering, senior vice president, development and production, Nat Geo WILD. "These specials tug at the heartstrings, inform and remind viewers of the importance of environmental protection for our planet."

As part of Nat Geo WILD's dedication to bringing awareness to this important topic, the night also includes encore airings of some of our most iconic specials, including the moving story of two mountain lion mothers struggling for survival in Cougars Undercover; a heart-pounding search for leopards in Mumbai, India, with National Geographic photojournalist Steve Winter in Mission Critical: Leopards at the Door; and a look at how traumatized elephants are rehabilitated in Gorongosa National Park with brother-and-sister team Bob and Joyce Poole in War Elephants.

Full Earth Day Schedule at a Glance:
6:30/5:30c: Wild to Inspire *PREMIERE*
7/6c: Cougars Undercover
8/7c: Mission Critical: Leopards at the Door
9/8c: Mission Critical: Orangutan on the Edge *PREMIERE*
10/9c: War Elephants

Premieres Include:

Wild to Inspire Premieres Friday, April 22, at 6:30/5:30c Catch a look at the short films of the finalists from this year's Wild to Inspire filmmaking competition, sponsored by NAT GEO WILD and the Sun Valley Film Festival. The winning film, "To the Explorers" by Justin Grubb (@journeyinjustin) and Alex Goetz (@alex_m_goetz), will be featured alongside the three other finalists, "Conowingo Dam Bald Eagles" by Mike Lemery (@MikeLemery), "In Search of a Moment" by David Fontneau (@DavidFontneau) and "Wild Heroes of Uganda" by Marlina Moreno (@MarlinaMoreno), as well as last year's winning film, "Adapt" by Filipe DeAndrade.

Mission Critical: Orangutan on the Edge Premieres Friday, April 22, at 9/8c National Geographic photographer Tim Laman (@timlaman) is on a mission to reveal new threats to wild orangutans and their rain forest homes. Trekking to remote locations and scaling massive trees, he documents the secret lives of our mysterious primate cousins - even as deforestation and poaching threaten their very existence. And his photographs tell the story of an orangutan mother raising her baby in the wild, until a tragic event changes their lives forever.

Special Earth Day Encores Include:

Cougars Undercover Friday, April 22, 7/6c This is the moving story of two mountain lion mothers raising their cubs, each trying to survive the harsh conditions of a bitter winter season outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Never-before-seen video captures the playful, intimate and sometimes tragic lives of these two families - part of a groundbreaking study by Panthera's Teton Cougar Project. This is the most intense study of mountain lions ever conducted in the U.S., and the research raises some key questions. Are these cats the solitary hunters we previously thought? Why is their population dropping in the Rockies? The answers are fascinating and the stunning portrayal of the highs and lows of daily life will keep you glued to the story.

Mission Critical: Leopards at the Door Friday, April 22, 8/7c When National Geographic photographers go on assignment, it's not just a job - it's a mission. Covering stories that are as urgent as they are timeless, the photographers travel to every corner of the globe to show us what we need to know now - to save iconic species from extinction, protect ourselves and make way for a better, more sustainable planet. National Geographic photographer Steve Winter has spent his life working to save endangered big cats through his award-winning pictures. Now he turns his lens on an elusive and deadly predator - the leopard.

War Elephants Friday, April 22, 10/9c A 16-year-long civil war that began in 1977 ravaged Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park, wiping out nearly 95 percent of the elephant population. Today, peace has been restored, but the surviving elephants still carry the emotional scars of war and must relearn how to trust humans. NAT GEO WILD follows a brother-and-sister team, Bob Poole and Dr. Joyce Poole, on a mission to help the traumatized elephants heal and to restore peace to a once-again-thriving wildlife sanctuary. Armed with patience and a truck designed to resist the charge of a 3-ton elephant, the Pooles employ a unique rehabilitation approach: Get off-road and personal with Gorongosa's giants on their terms. Despite the risks of being charged, they hope their peaceful presence will slowly convince the elephants that people are no longer a threat.

About National Geographic Channels The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century FOX and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels include National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society's mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and NAT GEO WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit and

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