Betty White Goes Wild (2013) - full transcript

(bell ringing)

BETTY: Come in, dear!

-Hey, Betty, we're ready for you.
-Oh, great. What are we doing?

It's your big cat show.

Oh, great! I love big cats!

-Who's it for?
-It's for Nat Geo Wild.


I love those guys.

(mimics lion roaring)

Sorry about that.

BETTY: I'm Betty White

and I've been in show business
for more than 70 years now.

But my other love, for animals,

has been with me forever.

Come here, baby, come here.

BETTY: So, today, I'm giving you
my backstage pass

to not one, not two,

but three of America's wildest zoos
and safari parks.

(loud rumble)

Well, that's a noise I didn't expect!

BETTY: I'll pull back the curtain.

Oh, hello.

Where have you been all my life?

And take you on my very own unique safari
of the world's most captivating cats.

BETTY: We'll go
where VIPs don't get to go.

Oh, this is heaven.

BETTY: And get my cameras into places
they've never been before.

That was just a jaguar!

I'm game for anything.


No, anything, as a matter of fact.

I'm coming face to face
with all of these and more.

And showing you just what makes
big cats so special to me.

-(lion roaring)
-(Betty laughing)


And why you should love them
just as much as I do.

Try it, you'll like it.

ZOOKEEPER 1: Good morning, Miss White.

BETTY: Nice to meet you.

-ZOOKEEPER 2: And Amy.
-BETTY: And Amy, nice to meet you.

-AMY: Thanks for coming to see us.

BETTY: Well, this is one place
I never thought I'd be.

-I've met the keepers.
-What are you doing in there?

BETTY: And now
I'm literally in the lion's den.

I'm at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
for a hands-on encounter with big cats.


And what a cat to start with.

Our male is Izu,

and we have two females, Mina and Oshana.

And we do have a little bit of love
in the air out there right now.

BETTY: Lions are the most sociable cat.

And these guys will live
in a family group called a pride.

In the wild, that might be
up to 30 strong,

but here, three is plenty.

Now, these guys have been up all night.

So they're ready for bed
and this is their bedroom,

and it just needs a few finishing touches.

We'll make it nice and comfy,

and we have a,
we have a ball in a paper bag

and part of the fun is the noise.

They love the noise.

-(loud rumble)

Well, that's the noise I didn't expect.

BETTY: Zoos call this enrichment.

It stimulates the animals
and encourages natural behaviors.

A little interior decorating.

Today, I think we're going
with a little jungle theme.

We've got the vines going,
we got the forest.

BETTY: The public doesn't get to see
this play before bedtime,

but I'm not going
to let you down, now am I?

I think it's a very cosy
little room, don't you?

BETTY: In the wild, lions love a cat nap.

But when they hunt... Oh, boy.

JANET: They are co-operative hunters.

The females do
the vast majority of the hunting.

BETTY: The females are faster
and more agile than the males

and they work as a team.

They will stage an ambush,

so that they will urge their prey
to go a certain way,

where there will be other lionesses
lying in wait to grab that prey.

BETTY: They hunt mainly at dawn and dusk,

but they're also crazy good at night.

Like other cats, they are six times
better at seeing in the dark than we are.

If you're talking girl power...


...then this big cat wrote the book.

BETTY: Now, what would they
be looking for in the yellow pages?

It's opened at Beauty Salons,
are you ready for that?

They don't need beauty salons,
they're gorgeous already.

BETTY: Talking of gorgeous,

studies show that lionesses actually find
a darker mane more attractive.

Lions manes are unique among big cats,

and, boy, do they strut their stuff.

Intimidating the guys
and alluring the females.

The male's job is to protect the pride.

BETTY: Particularly from other males
who might want to take his place

as the head of the household.

(lion growling)

Well, I won't disturb.

I think everything's...
everything's pretty well ready.

BETTY: These guys enjoy
their own private two acres of a park,

but, every morning,

they come indoors
for just a couple of hours.

This corridor will keep us
and the lions safe

as they make their way
to the bedroom I've made for them.

One of the most important aspects
of our job everyday

is to make sure, before we take ourselves

into an area in which a cat could be out,

is we're just going to double check
that all our locks are all locked.

Oh, here he is. Here he is!

BETTY: Oh, isn't he gorgeous,
with the black mane!

JANET: And what I wanna do
is double check my doors.

Oh! That is really impressive.

There's a secret
to getting these beautiful guys

back in after being up all night.

So, watch this.

(whistle blowing)

Izu's right here.

BETTY: Hello, beautiful.

BETTY: First in is Oshana,

closely followed by Izu.

He is so in love with her

and he follows her every move.

If she says we're stopping here, he stops.

JANET: He's a little puppy dog.

I guess he's a little lion,
but he's really cute with her.

But the whole point behind what he's doing

is he doesn't want to lose access to her.

BETTY: And that's why Izu is giving us
a personal up-close performance

of the loudest big cat roar.

(lion roaring)

I love that sound.

And it comes from all around you.

It isn't localised, it's just everywhere.

(lion roaring)

(whistle blowing)

Okay, time out!

If you wanna be a lion-backer,
then listen up.

(lion growling)

This is my play-by-play guide
to what makes a big cat...

a big cat.

BETTY: If you think
your tubby tabby is a "big cat",

think again.

Some wildlife experts define
big cats in a very specific way.

(mimicking lion's roar)

What makes a big cat?

A big cat has a structure
in its throat that allows it to roar.

(tiger roaring)

Versus a small cat, which can purr.

(cat purring)

BETTY: So, the four roaring cats

are tigers, jaguars,

leopards and, of course, the mighty lion,

in this case, Izu.

JANET: They will roar
when they first get in.

They like to re-announce,

"This is my home,
you all need to know that."

BETTY: Izu's just making sure
our unfamiliar faces

know exactly who's boss.

It's alright, sweetheart.

(lion growling)

BETTY: I just wanna be sure
we're going to be friends.

It's alright.

CAMERAMAN: Betty, I think
we should go next door

and let them calm them down a bit.

BETTY: My scaredy-cat British crew
is running away,

but I've got other ideas.

Just calm down.

Just easy does it.

Easy does it.

-(lion continues growling)
-That's better, that's better.

BETTY: They read us like a book.

He can sense that I have no fear of him.

BETTY: Okay, sweetheart, there you go.

That was really kinda awesome,

'cause he was checking
everybody out behind you,

but you had such a nice tone.

-BETTY: They know.
-They do know.

He's listening to me.

I know that sounds crazy,
but you can see it happened.

-(lion growling)
-Yes, darling.

Yes, darling. Easy does it.

BETTY: Is he gorgeous or what?

He was just trying to warn us,
that's all he was doing!

-CAMERAMAN: It worked! It worked!

That was a lovely experience.

BETTY: For some reason,

my crew is still a little shaken up
as they take up their positions.

-Did it scare you?
-CAMERAMAN: A little.

CAMERAMAN: I was kinda
expecting it though. I love big cats.

Good, good,
a little intimidation, a little something.

They need to see that.

They need to see that fear in your eyes!

I'm good.

I'm good on this side,
so yeah, whenever, you guys...

BETTY: We're setting up our cameras
all around the lions' bedroom.

We can use this
as an emergency exit if we need it.

BETTY: But with the crew's nerves on edge,

I'm feeling a little mischievous.

I just found this here.

I don't know what this thing is.

But it says "Clicker, lion gate".


BETTY: Lion's gate.

I wonder what'll happen if I press it?

Let's see.



BETTY: We're about to get closer
than you'd ever thought possible

to two adult lions.

Oshana and Izu.

Any time you wanna come in, big boy.

-(lion roaring)
-Here we come.

We have lots of fun enrichment in there

and it's our hope
that they're going to tear it down

and bat the balls and play in
the beds and just carry on.

I never knew cardboard boxes
were that much fun.


See, she's going through
the yellow pages, I told you.

Honey, I lost your place,

it was beauty salons
that you're looking for.

Mother nature, absolutely,

it's so fascinating.

When you think of
the variety of creatures and of plants

and flowers and trees.

The variety all over this tiny planet.

And she never runs out of ideas,

and she never ceases to be fascinating.

BETTY: Come on. Come on up.

Come on up here, baby.

Come on up here. Come on.

BETTY: That's a girl. That's a girl.

Come on, sweetheart.

This is as good a study of a lion face
as you're ever going to get.

They are so aware of us.

Don't you wish you knew
what was going through their head?

You are so lovely.

You are so lovely.

Yes, you are!

And you've got a good looking boyfriend.

BETTY: With Oshana
getting all the attention,

Izu feels a bit left out.

BETTY: Come on.
Do you want to come up here?

-(lion growling)
-Come on up.

Alright, it's all right, darling.

It's okay.

BETTY: He's protective of Oshana
for one very good reason.

JANET: She's giving off scents
that she's about ready to be bred.

And him being a man of opportunity,

doesn't wanna miss the opportunity
when her hormones do say "It's time."

BETTY: Come on, big boy.

You're stepping on your wife's tail.

JANET: It's really great
that these guys might be breeding

and producing cubs again.

Their children have gone on
to be parents themselves.

So, actually, these guys are grandparents.

(lion roaring)

The male lion sleeps 20 hours a day.

But when he's not sleeping...

he's busy.

BETTY: So busy, in fact,

that lions can actually mate
up to 100 times a day!

I think they could do
with a little privacy at this point.

Okay, good luck, kids.

BETTY: There's a small population
of lions in India,

but they are mainly found in Africa...

(lion growling)

...where they are the top predator.

BETTY: Oh, that was wonderful!

That's the first set up of the day, huh?

(both laughing)

BETTY: And what a way
to start our insider safari.

Now, which cat is next?

Another big roarer I think,
if I can find them.

But that's not all I've lost.

CAMERAMAN: Excuse me,
have you seen Betty White?

TOURIST: Yeah, she went down that way.


Isn't this gorgeous?

CAMERAMAN: Betty, Betty, Betty, Betty!

What are we going to do now?

-Is it over already?
-MAN: Yeah.

That was so fast.

Let's go round again!

BETTY: Pull yourself together, Betty,
this is Nat Geo Wild!

Betty will stop horsing around,
Betty will get serious now.

Betty is going to get very dramatic now.

(mimics lion roaring)

BETTY: Big cats are the cats that roar.


(lion growling)

BETTY: And of all the roars,

the tiger's is one of the most impressive.

It's so loud, you don't just hear it.

Your skin actually will move on your face

and you can feel it resonate
within your body,

and usually, just the air
that he blows out too.

It's pretty unbelievable.

(tiger roaring)

BETTY: But that's not to say
all of these guys

don't have a whole host
of other vocal expressions.

They have a repertoire.

They make all sorts of noises.

I know what that is, I speak fluent tiger.

No, I speak fluent lion.

The thing that's so fascinating
about that and those wonderful sounds,

they each mean something.

When they're upset...

(lion crying)

Oh, no, no, no.

They cover a variety of subject matter.

Obviously, they roar.

And the roar, you know,

a roar is usually
to tell somebody, back off.

(tiger roaring)

There's no way I'm going
to roar for you, FYI.

They can be a threat.

Uh-oh, you want me to do a growl.

(mimicking a tiger's growl)

Oh, my goodness.

(tiger growling)

(mimicking a tiger's growl)

It's like a really deep grunt.

And that means "I'm done,
I don't want to do this anymore."

(lion grunting)

They do a vocalisation called the chuff.

(mimicking the tiger's chuff)

(mimicking the tiger's purr)

That's a "Hi".
That's a "Hello, how are you doing?"

That's a really good sound.

They can be a loving comment
from mother to cub.

-They can hiss.
-(lion hissing)

(mimicking the lion's hiss)

It means back off. Stay away.
I'm upset with you.

It's scary to us.

(tiger growling)

But, if we pay attention,

we can learn to read some of it.

And it gets more interesting all the time.

BETTY: Okay,
back on the trail of the jaguar.

The problem is I have a whole zoo
to show you around.

I keep getting distracted.

BETTY: There's so much to see.

Oh, yes. There he is.

Isn't he lovely?

CAMERAMAN: What are we going to do now?

Where's she gone? She's gone.

If this comes out,

and I'm saying it all
with a British accent,

you'll understand why.

CART DRIVER: All right. Here we go.

BETTY: Now I'm supposed
to be hunting for jaguars,

but I just had to ask my driver

if I could drop in on an old friend.


You don't have any friends
that are 4000lb river hippos?

I can't begin to tell you
what this means to me.

Otis, I met,
maybe 40 years ago, at the LA Zoo.

He was... He and Maggie, his mate,
were with us there.

Now I haven't seen him since,

so this is like seeing
an old, dear friend.

Yes, look at those teeth.

Look at those teeth!

BETTY: Now, Otis might look all bubbly
and fun at the moment,

as he plays with his favorite water gun,

but in the wild,

hippos kill far more people
than any of the big cats.

Good job he's pleased to see me.

BETTY: Come here, sweetheart.

I can't tell you how many
watermelons and cantaloupes

I have thrown into that mouth.

BETTY: He's showing off for you
as best as he can.

Well, Otis, we're both still going, kiddo.

BETTY: Talking of still going,
I'd better get going.

Now you'd think that a jaguar
should be easy enough to find.

After all, after tigers and lions,

these are the third largest
big cats in the world.

From the tip of its nose
to the tip of its tail,

a jaguar can measure
up to six feet in length.

And weigh as much as 250 pounds.

And as for their jaws,
relative to their size,

they have the most powerful bite
of the big cats.

If we were going for a bite-off,

I'm pretty sure I'd need to be
a whole lot bigger.

Wanted, large cat, must have big jaws.

It can't be that hard.

Come on, guys, put some effort in here!

I've been up and down
and all over this beautiful place

and I was looking for the jaguar.

Well, I almost gave up, but...

we're here.

BETTY: I'm getting our cameras
closer than ever before

to these big cats... jaguars.

To look at, the jaguar can often
be confused with the leopard.

The giveaway is in their coat.

So people often ask me
how to tell the difference

between a jaguar and a leopard
and it's actually very simple.

NICOLE: If you look at a jaguar's pattern,

they have circles called rosettes

that have dots in the center of them.

Whereas a leopard has
that rosette with nothing in the center.

So it's actually the jaguar
that has the spots, not the leopards.

BETTY: And if that
wasn't confusing enough,

they can both also be black in colour.

Often, these darker cats
are incorrectly called Black Panthers.

In fact, there is no such animal.

BETTY: This close,
12-month-old jaguar cubs look pretty cute.

But looks can be deceiving.

If all big cats were the same size,

the jaguar would have the biggest bite.

NICOLE: Their jaws
are capable of crushing bone.

BETTY: The jaguar's awesome killing power

has been feared and revered
throughout history.

The name jaguar, "yagura",

comes from South America

and it means "kills in one leap".

So with that strong jaw,
that's exactly what he can do.

He can take it out like that.

NICOLE: Most cats will grab
their prey around the neck

and wait for it to suffocate,

where a jaguar will crush the skull
into the brain, game over.

BETTY: The ancient Aztecs
were so in awe of this big cat

that they even used the jaguar
as a mystical symbol of royalty.

I can see their thinking,
this is one graceful and powerful cat,

at home in many environments.

BETTY: With all this going for them,
they're a terrifying prospect.

Not only that,
but jaguars also live in caves,

which at that time were thought
to be the entrance to the underworld.

BETTY: But even ancient gods
need their lunch.

BETTY: I wish I wasn't gonna send you
where I'm gonna send you.

-Wish him luck.
-(both laughing)

BETTY: No, it's not every day
you get the chance

to see this sort of enrichment activity.

Fish is above and beyond
their diet, so it's extra,

but, of course, they're expending energy

trying to get to the fish
and it's great for them.

BETTY: It lets these jaguars
use their adaptations.

It keeps them mentally
and physically stimulated.

I've never been this close,
where you can see all...

Their feet are huge,
which makes them excellent swimmers.

NICOLE: What's really great about this
is she's teaching her kids how to fish.

She'll probably hang out on the outskirts

and she's going
to allow the kids to do this.

She's checking out the camera already.

BETTY: Come on, baby.

BETTY: And here comes that fish.

-BETTY: Oh... She got her fish!
-NICOLE: She got it!

The markings are so distinctive.

I imagine you could tell them apart
pretty easily.

Oh, yes, just like fingerprints,

they have different markings
over their eyes and on their tails.

So we were able
to tell them apart right away.

BETTY: Right away.

And then, as they got bigger,
of course, it was in attitude.

And she's going to take care
of that camera any second now.

BETTY: Oh, that's that strong jaw.

And look at those claws.

BETTY: Relative to their size,

jaguars have the strongest jaws
of all the big cats,

and that's why the name jaguar

originally meant
"beast that kills with one leap."

Before I move on,

there's just time to check the damage

Maderas has done to our camera,

which, despite those fearsome
jaws and claws, is still running.

You can tell that story again.

Oh, yes. Well that was...
That was just a jaguar.

(all laughing)

BETTY: This is turning out
to be quite a day.

CAMERAMAN: It's all worked out fine.

(mimics lion roaring)

BETTY: I've already introduced
three of the four big cats that roar.

We'll get to the tigers later,

because I've got something special
planned for them.

Before that, I want you to meet
another four fabulous felines

that many people also call "big cats".

They can't roar,
but, boy, are they impressive.

I'm looking at you
and you're looking right back at me.

BETTY: America's very own big cat.

And the fastest mammal on earth.

Just like a blur.

BETTY: Both make it on to this list.


(blows whistle)

BETTY: But it's our next big cat

that has a smelly surprise
in store for us.



BETTY: I'm sniffing out
a super elusive big cat

that makes its home
in the wild mountains of Central Asia.

Snow leopards communicate
with other snow leopards

by scent spraying

or even rubbing their cheeks
against rocks,

well, like your own house cat does
when she's affectionate.

If you come to the zoo
and get to see a snow leopard,

count yourself as one of
the luckiest individuals in the world

because coming from
an elevation of 20,000 feet,

not very many get the opportunity
to see them.

BETTY: But researchers in the wild

have managed to attract them
to camera traps like these

by using a special secret men's cologne.

-NICOLE: What do you think?

I think that...
Can I find myself a snow leopard?


BETTY: I think it's about time
I started directing this movie.

I'm hoping a little sawdust...

Spread as much around as you can.

...with a lot of perfume...


Lovely! going to get us as close as you can
get to this super elusive big cat.

Over in the corner. Perfect.

Now that's Beauregard.
He's our male snow leopard.

-And he's so gorgeous.

BETTY: Beauregard is showing off
his oversized paws

that even have fur on the bottom.

They keep the snow leopard cosy,

but they also work as kitty snow shoes,

letting them walk across
the top of deep snow drifts.

These are naturally solitary cats.

It's extremely rare to have
a potential mating pair together.

But my perfume seems to do the trick.

Beauregard and Anna
are getting along better than ever.

The recipe for a romantic evening

is a little of the special perfume,

sprayed on some wood shavings

set out on a rock.

Try it. You'll like it.

BETTY: We have our very own big cat,
right here in the United States.

It makes its home in deserts, swamps,

grasslands and mountains.

And because it's so adaptable,
it goes by many names.

Puma, Firecat, Panther,

Shadow Cat, Deer Tiger,
American Lion, Catamount.

Phew, that's enough.

Oh, how could I forget!
My own personal favourite.

No, not cougar!

Mountain lion.

This is one big cat
to definitely be reckoned with.


BETTY: These guys can weigh in
at more than 220 pounds

and their muscular rear legs

are proportionally longer
than any other cats.

Meaning they can cover a distance
of up to 20 feet in a single leap.

So how many of them are there
in the United States?

Mountain lions are solitary and elusive,

so it's almost impossible to count them.

But it's thought that there are between
24,000 and 36,000 adults out there.

BETTY: Pumas... Sorry, mountain lions

once roamed across
all of the 48 contiguous states.

Today, there are now populations
in only 16.

Deer tigers... Sorry, pumas...

Sorry, mountain lions

are typically opportunistic hunters,

who use stealth to ambush their prey.

But despite their hunting skills,
they rarely attack humans.

Statistically, it's more likely
that you'll be killed

by an accident in the bath
or being hit by lightning.

But just in case...

In the unlikely event

that you come across
an aggressive mountain lion,

here's my four-step guide
to keeping you safe.


BETTY: Grab a rock or a stick
to defend yourself.

Never run,

as this will trigger
a predatory response from the cat

and it will attack.

Show the mountain lion
you know he's there,

and are willing to challenge him.

And, finally, wave your arms

and generally make yourself
look bigger than you are.

And that is how you deal with a cougar.

Mountain lion.

(mimics lion growling)

BETTY: No, you're not seeing things.

I am taking a cheetah for a walk.

Well, I'm actually walking the dog.

Come on, sweetheart. That's it!

BETTY: It's part of a special program
here at San Diego Zoo Safari Park,

to let people get a better understanding
of these incredible creatures.

It's probably one of the most
common questions that we get asked

when they see us
with our trained cheetahs.

What's the dog for?

JANET: Through the body language
of the dog

saying this environment is wonderful

and these people are great,

the cheetah believes them,

and the cheetah's
much more calm and relaxed.

Man's best friend gives them that comfort.

BETTY: And another one
of these comforting canines

is getting to know me too.

BETTY: This is Yeti.

It's Yeti and Betty

and we're good friends already, aren't we?


Now, you're not a runner,
you're a lover, I understand that.

BETTY: But the cheetah is a runner.

He's the fastest land mammal
on the planet.

BETTY: He is absolutely spectacular.

This is a very special animal...

BETTY: ...who can get up
to 60 miles an hour... three and a half seconds.

BETTY: But don't take my word for it.

Let's see them both in action
in our cat-dog showdown.

In the fluffy corner,

Yeti, a 115-pound Anatolian Shepherd,

who's ready for action.

And in the spotty corner, Johari,

weighing in at a slightly lighter
85 pounds.

I'll be track-side watching
all the action.

And I'm handing over now
to our referee, Betty.

-Are you ready, Betty?
-I'm ready.

-Are you ready, Betty?
-Alright. You're the clock.

You ready, Betty?

If Betty's ready, then Betty's ready.

Betty's ready. Oh shut up!

(blows whistle)

BETTY: Yeti is off.

Chasing a lure at top speed

down the 110-yard track.

Even the fastest breed of dog,
the greyhound,

can only run at about 40mph.

So I'm afraid Yeti

is only ever going
to win prizes for effort.

You beautiful baby.

JANET: Nicely done, Yeti!

BETTY: 11.92 seconds.

Not too bad.

While the lure is reset,
Johari gets ready.

Okay, Johari, this is your big moment.

This is the time of your life.

BETTY: Hopefully, she's about to show us

just why they are
the quickest thing on four legs.

(blows whistle)

(whistle blows)

Oh my!

How on earth am I supposed
to keep up with that?

I am 91, you know.

Let's do that all over again,

and, this time, a closer look will reveal
something truly extraordinary.

BETTY: There's only one way
to fully appreciate

the awesomeness of the
fastest land mammal on Earth.

We need to slow Johari,
the cheetah, right down.

(in slow motion)
Are you ready, Betty?

(blows whistle in slow motion)

BETTY (in normal voice): Cheetahs
are equipped with a streamlined body.

Unlike other big cats,

their claws are only semi-retractable,

giving them extra grip at high speed.

Their spines are super flexible

to let them maximize each stride

and even their bones are more lightweight

than any of the other big cats.

(crowd cheering)

Watching dog and cat side by side,

it's easy to see why Johari
completes the course

in an amazing 4.3 seconds.

Almost three times quicker than Yeti!

Is that the most exciting thing
you ever saw?

BETTY: Cheetahs would rather
run than fight.

But then who can blame them?

As they can accelerate
as quickly as a Dodge Viper sports car.

Just like a blur.

And they're sweet as sugar.

(mimics lion roaring)

Well, we're going to sit very still,

because these guys
are a little more skittish

than the one we just met.

BETTY: This guy
is being unnecessarily coy.

Because even though
they're ten times smaller,

clouded leopards can have canine teeth

that are almost as big as a tiger's.

And now my backstage pass
gets us up close and personal

to a very special cub.

-This is Haui San. Isn't he gorgeous?
-Oh you gorgeous baby!

He likes to play and run around

and jump and show off
what clouded leopards do best.

-They're very agile.
-BETTY: Yes, they are.

-But that wasn't very graceful.

BETTY: Not only has
he just lost his baby teeth,

but he's still learning to climb.

He's an arboreal species,

he is up in the trees
so you can kind of see,

having that short stocky body

enables him to go
onto other branches and things

-that wouldn't necessarily...
-That's the big guy.

...carry a big guy.

That's why, in Malaysia,
they're called the tree tiger.

BETTY: The clouded leopards
even have ankles which rotate backwards

to let them come down
from the trees head first

and hunt on the forest floor.

-BETTY: Oh, I love it!

-Just land on our stomach and hang.

-Oh! This is heaven!

Come on, sweetheart, come on, baby.

BETTY: Just look at those ankles.

And I thought I was flexible!

BETTY: Isn't this a gorgeous creature?

They're not stripes, they're not spots,

they're patterns.

They look like clouds
and that's where the name came from.

BETTY: Clouded Leopard.

And the pink nose,
I just love the pink nose.

(mimics lion roaring)

BETTY: So far we've seen lions,
cheetahs, leopards,

mountain lions, jaguars, hippos.

Hippos? Anyway...

It's an early start back
at home in Los Angeles,

but this is my real home away from home.

For more than 50 years now,

I've never been able to resist
using my backstage pass

and giving these guys a hand.

Come on, Betty, let's get our gloves on.

Okay, you got it!

-I don't have enough fingers.

-Can we start over?
-I just don't know where he is.

(laughter continues)

I've got an extra finger!

BETTY: Come on, guys!

What is that?

All right!

The hardest thing about zoo keeping

is not taking care of the animals,
it's getting gloves on.

BETTY: Now we're ready,

and it's time to meet
our biggest big cat yet.

If it's size that matters,

then it's the tiger that should be
the king of the jungle.

While lions have been given the name,

it's tigers who are 15-20% larger.

Good boy.

BETTY: In the wild, these super-size cats

can measure over ten feet long

and weigh up to 660 lbs.

Pound for pound,

that's the same as 100 domestic cats.

(cats meowing)

BETTY: And because their appetites
match their huge size,

I'm rustling up some deer urine
soaked Betty White treats,

that we'll be feeding
to two very lucky tigers.

And turn the label to the camera.

Thank you very much!

Good morning!

Thank you so much
for joining me in my kitchen.

I'm preparing breakfast
for my good friends,

Shinta and Kuwasa.

BETTY: It's our final big cat

and I've saved the biggest
and best 'til last.

This is Shinta, actually,

and I knew them
from the time they were this big,

they literally would fit in my hand.

And Kuwasa looks very much like that.

Not to another tiger, mind you, but to us.

BETTY: My boys are pretty much
all grown-up now

and have a great appetite.

Their wild cousins can chow down

on up to 90 pounds of meat
at a single sitting.

That's a lot of steaks,

which makes the tiger
the biggest eater of all big cats.

They're marvellous.

BETTY: Today, we're being joined
by my able assistant Stephanie...

Well, here's some lovely deer urine.

-This is hard to find.

...who is helping me cook up
a feast fit for a king.

We're going Mexican with a tiger's twist.

-Yeah, spritz it on there.
-BETTY: Okay, alright.

BETTY: A mouth-watering appetizer.

Okay, there's a little bit of that.

BETTY: Garnished with just
a little dash of oil

from the back-end of a beaver.

This'll turn them on.

So there you have it,
the Betty White Burrito.


BETTY: If that wasn't enough,

how about papier-mâché piñatas?

Aren't you cute?

Stuffed with chicken.

-STEPHANIE: The more the merrier.
-The more the merrier!

Okay, let's get them in there.

STEPHANIE: These are big boys now.

Excuse me for getting so familiar.

Come on, piggy pink. Here we come.

Alright, and what did you do today, Betty?

Well, I stuffed a pig with...

It's hard to work that
into a conversation.

-BETTY: And for dessert...
-A little something.

I made these earlier,
these have been in the freezer.

BETTY: A meat and goat's milk sorbet.

Isn't that lovely?

This is the kind of food
I love to cook for my best friends.

I mean, it's my kind of cooking.

BETTY: Stephanie sets the tigers' table,

laying out my gourmet dinner
around the enclosure.

And my crew sets our cameras

to capture the best possible close-ups
of chomping tigers.

I just hope Shinta and Kuwasa
are hungry for this feast.

Here they come.

BETTY: They are straight onto
the scent of the food.

It's Kuwasa to eat first.

There goes the sheep.

BETTY: Shinta's having
a starter of mouse piñata.


The minute they find something
they really like,

they want to take it away
and take it to their den.

Keep it away from their companion.

BETTY: With my cooking,
luckily they're not fussy eaters.

In the wild, tigers will happily munch
on rotting meat,

making it last for three to six days.

Onto the main course.

BETTY: Oh yes, get it, baby!

Up he goes.

BETTY: That's my special Betty White
burrito taken care of.

And he got it!

BETTY: And it's no problem for Kuwasa
to take it from the six-foot pole.

Or for Shinta to scale
a 12-foot tree trunk

to get to the pig piñata.

BETTY: Oh, Shinta, you are something else.

BETTY: The tigers rear legs
are "purfect" for powerful pouncing.

A tiger can cover 30 feet
in a single leap.

But despite their size and athleticism,

they're not the best of hunters,

with just one in ten attempts
resulting in a kill.

With a top speed of 35mph,

typical prey like this deer,

with a top speed of 40mph,

can easily outpace the tiger.

Because of this,

the tiger needs to rely on stealth
to get close enough to pounce.

Soft pads on the soles of his feet

make a tiger a silent assassin.

BETTY: Their stripes act as camouflage,

as they hide in bushes and grasses,

making sneaking up on prey easy picking.

If you were able to shave a tiger,

you'd see that his skin
would be striped as well!

BETTY: And each one is marked differently,
that's what's so fascinating.

They're all individuals,
it's not just "They're tigers."

Each one is a miracle.

And it's such a tragedy

that there are more tigers
these days in captivity

than in the wild.

BETTY: With the food all but finished,

Shinta and Kuwasa's curiosity
overtakes their appetite.

They spot our cameras.

Shinta's not going to let
a concrete block stop him

from getting to one of them.

It might take two whole men to carry this,

but for an adolescent tiger,

he can flip the block
with a flick of one paw.

And cut!

BETTY: The tiger is the biggest
of all the big cats.

But though they may be
the true kings of the jungle,

there are only around 3000 left
in the wild.

And they like my cooking.

BETTY: Well,
they didn't complain at least.

Can you imagine the privilege
of being able to do a show on big cats?

BETTY: We've gone
where visitors don't get to go.

What are you doing in there?

BETTY: Come on, piggy pink.

BETTY: And we've met
the biggest, the loudest...

-(lion roaring)
-I love that sound!

...and the cutest...

Well, that wasn't very graceful.

...of all the big cats.

And let's appreciate these gorgeous,


mysterious creatures

while we still have them to enjoy.

There's always something to learn.

There's always something to wonder at.


Is that the most exciting thing
you ever saw?

That was just a jaguar.

-CAMERAMAN: That's a wrap.

Thank you.

(all clapping and cheering)

Oh my goodness!

You know how to spoil
an old broad, don't you?


(mimics lion roaring)