Living with the lioness

Filmmaker shares his passion

04 March 2020 | Art and Entertainment

Herbert Bräuer; Filmmaker; “I want people to reconnect with nature.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

The Swakopmund Arts Association hosted a talk and presentation of the Nat-Geo Wild documentary The Last Lioness.

Herbert Bräuer who worked as a cameraman on the documentary, recently shared his experience with an audience at the Woermannhaus Gallery.

The Last Lioness follows four years in the life of Lady Liuwa, the last known lioness of the Zambian Liuwa plains who lived an incredible 17 years before her final moment dawned on 17 August 2017.

Bräuer bears testimony to Lady Liuwa’s seemingly miraculous understanding of human norms.

During his talk, he shared insights on how Lady Liuwa interacted with humans.

“One night, I was left in the veld without a flashlight and I could sense a creature approaching me. With some experience, I could make out what animal it was by the sound and concluded that it was the lioness. We walked to camp, without light, and she followed me. When I arrived at the camp, I told my assistant what had happened. We went to investigate and found her laying on her back with her belly exposed. She wasn’t afraid of us.”

Illegal trophy hunting is said to be the biggest assailant of the lion population in the Liuwa Plain.

After Lady Liuwa gave her last breath, plans were set in motion to reintroduce lions to the Liuwa plains in a desperate effort to restore the ecosystem.

‘Driving force’

Bräuer says that filmmaking has always been a driving force in his life. “It’s just something that has always been there. I’ve been passionate about it for as long as I can remember. Passion is what keeps you going when it gets tough.”

Bräuer retired from making movies after approximately 12 years in the industry in which time he produced many documentaries about the African landscape. He keeps himself busy by teaching still wildlife photography, which he believes to be more challenging than wildlife videography.

“Through that, I want people to reconnect with nature.”

A photography exhibition including the work of photographers Linda Louw and Dr Burkhard Dobiey was also opened on the occasion.

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