National Geographic explorer Beverly Joubert nearly died twice in her husband Derek’s arms after being attacked by a buffalo – but has vowed to continue working in the wild.
The conservationists who have lost their lives multiple times – battling near-fatal snakebites, failing brakes on a plane and nearly drowning in a vehicle – were in Botswana when they faced their most great challenge.
Derek says: “Beverly almost died in my arms – twice.”
His wife adds, “We feel like we’ve been given a second chance, so that all of humanity can have a second chance to protect the planet.”
Recalling that terrifying moment, Beverly continues, “Out of the darkness came this raging buffalo.
“Dereck flew away, cracked his pelvis and a few ribs – but the buffalo impaled me and ran away with me.
“Eighteen seconds riding a buffalo changed our lives.
“Dereck was able to chase after the buffalo, challenge him and bring me down.
“Twenty-seven broken bones later, 11 hours on the bleeding floor and 18 hours to get me to the emergency room in South Africa, the hospital called me their miracle.”
The 2017 attack came when the couple were filming their films Relentless Enemies, Big Cat Odyssey and Living With Big Cats. Beverly continues: “I had a collapsed lung and a broken shoulder bone.
“The horn had gone through my armpit, through my chest, through my neck, lacerated my throat and ended up in my face. There were 21 broken bones in my cheek and my eye was cracked in three places. and collapsed.
“But what was happening to us that night is what lionesses and lion prides have to deal with on a daily basis.”
The eight-time Emmy winners speak before the screening of seven of their films as part of Nat Geo WILD’s upcoming Big Cat Week.
They warn that protecting big cats is essential to humanity.
Derek says, “If we’re going to save the planet – and the creatures on it – we have to celebrate who they are.”
Beverly adds: “Life is precious and every creature is part of the biodiversity puzzle. We are increasing global warming because we are removing so many forests.
“What we are doing with plastics in the oceans is devastating. We are killing ourselves and we have to turn the tide.
The duo, who have made 40 films, have just made their first on cheetahs, the world’s most endangered felines with less than 7,000 left.
Derek says: “Cheetahs are the fastest animals on the planet, running at 120 km/h. They enter this flow where nothing else matters. Hollywood star Jeremy Irons narrates the Joubert films.
“Jeremy has become a close friend and dedicated big cat ambassador,” adds Derek.
Due to the pandemic, the duo – founders of Great Plains Conservation, which runs wildlife sanctuaries in Kenya, Botswana and Zimbabwe – have been unable to carry out their usual field work.
There’s a LOT more where this came from! Want all the jaw-dropping stories from the world of showbiz and the latest news from TV and soap operas?
Well, we’ve got you covered with our showbiz, TV and soap newsletters – they’ll drop straight into your inbox and you can unsubscribe whenever you want.
We’ll bring you the inside track from TV expert Ed Gleave and soap specialist Sasha Morris. Oh, and your daily dose of Piers, Katie Price, Demi Rose and all your other Daily Star favorites.
You can register here – you won’t regret it…
Instead, their Project Ranger initiative helped furloughed rangers get back to work. Beverly, 65, says: “With tourism shut down and rangers away, poaching has increased.”
Derek, 66, adds: “It’s the longest time we’ve lived in concrete since high school, as we usually just lay there looking at the stars every night. We’ve seen a 95% decline in lions, leopards, cheetahs, tigers, almost everything in our lifetime. Unless we do something quickly to reduce carbon emissions, we’re not going to make it.
Six of their films have been remastered with a new one, The Way Of The Cheetah, airing Wednesday.
It tells the story of Immani, mother of four new cubs as they struggle to survive on the vast plains of the Mara.
Nat Geo WILD Big Cat week begins Monday.
For more information on the latest showbiz news from Daily Star, be sure to sign up for one of our newslettershere