Unique Local-International Partnership Takes Center Stage in World Wildlife Day

Unique local-international partnership takes center stage in upcoming World Wildlife Day celebrations

A small team from Jackson Hole will be playing a big role in international festivities for World Wildlife Day during the first week of March.


Jackson Hole WILD – the organization that hosts the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and Conservation Summit – will be joining the United Nations/CITES for events in New York City and Jackson to announce winners of the International Big Cats Film Festival at World Wildlife Day festivities.

  • New York City: Jackson Hole WILD co-hosts the International Big Cats Film Festival awards, celebrations and screenings on Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3, at U.N. Headquarters and The Explorers Club.


  • Jackson: Jackson Hole WILD presents “Night of the Wild Cat: Celebrating Lions and Tigers and Cougars (oh, my!)” on the evening of Friday, March 2, a​t the Center Theater, co-hosted by The Cougar Fund.


This is the second time Jackson Hole WILD has teamed up with the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to organize a film festival to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s animals and plants for World Wildlife Day. This year’s theme is “Big Cats: Predators Under Threat,” calling attention to the disturbing rate of decline of these charismatic species across the globe.


Both events in New York City and Jackson will feature the world premiere of “Age of Big Cats – Puma,” a survival tale that showcases the life of pumas and where they stand in today’s competitive world. The director, Martin Dohrn, is a previous Best of Festival winner for his work on “David Attenborough’s Light on Earth.” The screenings are made possible thanks to CuriosityStream and Ammonite, organizations dedicated to educating the public through quality media and film.


The International Big Cats Film Festival is one of the global events that will anchor the U.N.’s World Wildlife Day on March 3, with films continuing to be shown throughout the year at embassies, consulates and community venues.

International BIG CATS Film Festival Trailer from Jackson Hole WILD on Vimeo.


During the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and Conservation Summit held in Grand Teton National Park in September 2017, big cat experts gathered to define eight at-risk species that subsequently will be featured in the Big Cats Film Festival. The species are: Lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, snow leopards, pumas (a.k.a. mountain lions) and clouded leopards.


“Big cat populations across the world have been declining at a rapid rate,” said Lisa Samford, Jackson Hole WILD’s executive director. “This film festival does more than just shine light on a dark situation. It puts the spotlight on filmmakers, experts and local heroes who are making a difference. It allows them to share their perspectives on living with big cats in other communities thousands of miles away.”


Community members who might be visiting New York on March 2-3  and would like to join the Jackson Hole WILD team for festivities are encouraged to contact Jackson Hole WILD for details.


Night of the Wild Cat in Jackson


In Jackson Hole, tickets are on sale for the “Night of the Wild Cat” through the Center for the Arts Box Office and via the link on Jackson Hole WILD’s event page – jhwild.org/events.


The Cougar Fund is co-hosting the Friday, March 2, festivities, which will include a world premiere of “The Age of Big Cats: Puma” and other short films featuring big cats.


During the two-hour event, the audience will hear from local wildlife experts about challenges and successes for the valley’s resident big cat, the mountain lion.


Look for amazing raffles, including a Tom Mangelsen print, Mountainsmith backpack and more, as well as big-cat themed cocktail specials. Doors and bar open at 6:30 p.m. Films begin at 7 p.m.


Tickets for “Night of the Wild Cat” are available through the Center for the Arts Box Office for $10 plus $2 Vendini fee for adults. Children under 12 are free.


For more information, contact Jackson Hole WILD at (307) 200-3286, Ext. 6. For tickets, contact the Box Office at (307) 733-4900 or jhcenterforthearts.org.

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