When is Snow Cats and Me on TV?
The first episode of Snow Cats and Me will air on Sunday 29 December at 8pm on BBC One, and the second episode will air on Monday 30 December at 9pm on BBC One.
Who is presenting Snow Cats and Me?
Gordon Buchanan is presenting Snow Cats and Me, the latest series in his “and Me” programmes.
Gordon with one of ‘Koshka’s’ kittens. © Oak Island Films Ltd/Hello Halo TV
Scottish film-maker Gordon didn’t excel at school. But a stroke of luck led to his first overseas assignment – while working in a restaurant as a teenager, the owner’s partner, who happened to be a wildlife film-maker, was looking for someone to help out on a programme.
Now 47, Gordon’s speciality is an immersive blend of presenting and on-camera filming in exotic locations, with an understated narration style that quietly enthrals.
BBC Wildlife Magazine met him while Snow Cats and Me was in the final edit. Read the interview in our January 2020 issue (on sale from Thursday 19 December 2019).
What is Snow Cats and Me about?
In Snow Cats and Me, Gordon joins Dr Victor Lukarevsky, a Russian scientist, who is trying to rescue and rehabilitate Eurasian lynx from the lucrative fur and pet trades back to the wild.
“In 2018, I made Grizzly Bears and Me, about a Russian family, the Pazhetnovs, who rehabilitated bear cubs back into the wild,” says Gordon.
“Similarly, the lynx series is about a Russian scientist called Victor who’s taking lynx from captivity and rehabilitating them. He’s a big-cat expert who has done lots of work with Siberian tigers, Amur leopards and snow leopards.”
“Lynx are only around the size of a Labrador and are one of those animals that flies under the radar. I’ve actually only ever seen two wild lynx.”
Two of the lynx under Victor’s care were initially captured by a hunter and spent four years in a tiny, 2m-x-2m cage, their kittens taken from them and sold.
‘Koshka’, an adult female Eurasian lynx stretching her legs after four years in a tiny steel cage. © Oak Island Films Ltd/Hello Halo TV
“When I went to see them, I thought there’s no way that you could get those animals back to health and rehabilitate them,” says Gordon. “But Victor pointed out that they were born in the wild, so retained the same wild instincts.”
“He’s also got lynx that seem to have been born in captivity, though the details of their background are murky. They appear to have been domestic pets that got too big for the people that had them.”
Gordon and Dr Victor Lukarevsky with young male Eurasian lynx, ‘Bryansk’ rescued from the pet trade. © Oak Island Films Ltd/Hello Halo TV
Main image: Gordon with ‘Bryansk’, a young male Eurasian lynx rescued from the pet trade. © Oak Island Films Ltd/Hello Halo TV