FASCINATING NEW ELEPHANT SCIENCE
NAT GEO WILD’S MIND OF A GIANT REVEALS THAT ELEPHANTS ARE SMARTER THAN EVER KNOWN BEFORE
MIND OF A GIANT Premieres Sunday, June 19, at 9/8c on Nat Geo WILD
(WASHINGTON, D.C. — June 1, 2016) Across Africa, elephants are in crisis. Each day, 96 elephants fall victim to poachers, human-elephant conflict and habitat loss. In 2013, Paul G. Allen launched the Great Elephant Census, the first pan-African aerial survey of savanna elephants in more than 40 years. Soon after surveyors began their work, they observed something that truly surprised them. In the past 40 years, in the face of growing threats, elephants have changed where and how they live in their historic ecosystems. This incredible discovery, combined with the latest studies from the top elephant researchers in the world, revealed that elephants are learning to adapt and survive in ways we’ve never seen before. We join the experts in Africa to see their work firsthand in Mind of a Giant, premiering Sunday, June 19, at 9/8c on Nat Geo WILD. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com or our press site www.foxflash.com, or follow us on Twitter using @NGC_PR.
“Mind of a Giant started with a noble cause that turned into revolutionary research that may help save a beloved and threatened species,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager, Nat Geo WILD. “The dedicated scientists and conservationists featured here are pushing the boundaries of elephant research to reveal a smarter, more thoughtful animal than ever known before. We are thrilled to share their story of hope with our viewers who love animals and the people working to save them.”
Never before has this volume of compatible elephant research been featured in a single film. Mind of a Giant is a window into the world of the modern elephant, supremely intelligent creatures living and fighting for their lives in a world of poachers, new human settlements and other dangers. Together with the top elephant researchers in the world, we learn about how these gentle giants exhibit empathy, grief, joy, fear and vengefulness. The more we understand these majestic creatures, the more we can help them live on for future generations.
Sir Iain Douglas Hamilton is one ofthe world’s foremost authorities on the African elephant and founder of Save the Elephants, a leading research and conservation organization. In 1988 he was awarded the Order of the Golden Ark — one of conservation’s highest awards — and in 2015 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Save the Elephants conducts vital research on elephant behavior and ecology and pioneered GPS radio tracking in Africa to provide fresh insight into the life of elephants.
Frank Pope tracks the daily movements of elephants across a dangerous landscape. Pope is chief operations officer for Save the Elephants. He speaks to the fact that that elephants have learned exactly where safe territory ends and enemy territory begins. This new behavior proves that the elephants are aware of the location of their enemies, and that they have learned to proactively strategize their movements to avoid their foes.
Josh Plotnik founded Think Elephants International in 2011.His research on elephant intelligence has been published in some of science’s top peer-reviewed journals and has garnered millions of media impressions since 2006. Perhaps his best-known study centers on elephant self-awareness, which was conducted by placing a mirror in front of captive Asian elephants. He suggests that a mirror may truly be the window to an elephant’s soul, but he’s never shown a wild African elephant a mirror until now.
Joyce Poole, co-founder of Elephant Voices and one of the world’s leading elephant behaviorists, is an expert on how elephants communicate with one another. She shares some of the more than 250 postures, gestures and vocalizations she has identified that elephants use to communicate, and reveals their extraordinary ability to plan and coordinate their responses to threats.
Bob Jacobs studies the brains of elephants and humans at Colorado College. He reveals just how incredibly interconnected elephant brains are, and the massive processing power their huge brains possess. Elephants may be able to understand what what another animal is thinking, a trait that very few creatures can claim.
Caitlin O’Connell is a consulting faculty member at Stanford University School of Medicine who has studied elephants in the wild for the past 25 years. She demonstrates how incredibly sensitive elephants are to underground vibrations. This superhero trait gives them a long-range communication system to aid in detecting potential threats for miles around.
Mind of a Giant was produced for Nat Geo WILD by Vulcan Productions in association with Off The Fence. For Off The Fence, executive producer is Ellen Windemuth. For Vulcan Productions, executive producers are Paul G. Allen, Jody Allen, Carole Tomkoand Rocky Collins. For Nat Geo WILD, executive producer and senior vice president of development and production is Janet Han Vissering.
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 www.natgeotv.com and www.natgeowild.com.
About Vulcan Productions
Vulcan Productions is dedicated to the power of storytelling. The division produces content and large-scale campaigns that entertain, electrify and change the way people understand the world’s toughest challenges. Vulcan Productions’ films, television series and digital content spark ideas and turn action into measurable impact. Founded by Paul G. Allen and his sister Jody Allen in 1997, Vulcan Productions creates content across all platforms, extending the wide-ranging work of Vulcan Inc. in wildlife, science, climate, oceans, education, technology, current social issues, history and the arts. Award-winning projects include Racing Extinction, Academy Award®-nominated Body Team 12, We The Economy, #ISurvivedEbola,Girl Rising, and The Blues. Upcoming projects include Ivory, Naledi: A Baby Elephant’s Tale and Unseen Enemy.