Important Work Shaped Into a Compelling New Show
Every once in a while a TV show quietly exposes an ugly side of life and sets about fixing it. Rarely, as in the case of Nat Geo Wild's Animal Intervention (9pm), it then fashions that into a compelling, entertaining show.
If you've ever wondered why some people go through the extraordinary struggle of caring for exotic pets like tigers, lions and monkeys in their homes, Animal Intervention strongly implies its answer: they are animal loves who, for whatever reason, think they alone can give animals the care and love they won't get in zoos or sanctuaries.
Of course, like hoarders of objects or house pets, some of these exotic animal owners are probably struggling with mental issues that aren't addressed on the show.
What is addressed is that some owners start out with a noble mission - so noble that their families and friends rally around them as they rescue and care for animals that should be living in the wild. At the very least, most of these animals should be in zoos that have the financial and medical resources to care for them.
On the show, animal experts Alison Eastwood and Donald Schultz meet with homeowners who have obvious big-animal problems.
One couple (Jim Clark and Donita Clark) obsesses over the monkeys they share their home with. They obsess to the point of possibly acting illegally to keep their pets in their home, and then living on the run to evade the law - or an imagined conspiracy.
In another segment, Kirby Van Burch's love for big animals is overshadowed by his cruel (but seemingly inadvertent) overworking of big cats in his Branson, Mo. magic show.
Alison and Donald are likable, engaging hosts who are passionate about their work. They try, often unsuccessfully, to get exotic animal owners to hand over their animals to sanctuaries that can properly care for big animals. But their message gets across: there is not a single good reason to own exotic animals.