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Nine Lives is a tale of this magnetic figure's progression from hunter to filmmaker to conservationist. It is also the remarkable story of a lifelong affair with nature. In "Nine Lives", Varty narrates the adventures, trials, mishaps and triumphs of his extraordinary life, from hunting lions at the age of twelve and teaching the orphaned lion cub Shingalana how to hunt for food, to spending last moments with the badly mauled Mother Leopard--whom he had been following and filming for years--before she crawled into a termite mound to die. He reveals the secrets behind his close relationships with certain big cats and invokes the terror of his own narrow escapes from death, including a dangerous encounter with crocodiles and a near-fatal helicopter crash.