Big Cats Team Challenge

David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery, talks tigers and Project CAT for the #WildForLife Big Cats Team Challenge.

How did you end up in this line of work/why did you get your company involved in the wildlife extinction cause?

Discovery was founded more than 30 years ago as a purpose-driven company with a mission to educate and inspire audiences around the world. Today, that mission is an important part of who we are and is reflected in how we use our global on-air and digital platforms to tell important stories about our planet and its preservation. In 2015 we created a global moment of awareness around wildlife extinction with the premiere of RACING EXTINCTION, a documentary which aired in over 220 countries and territories within a single 24-hour period. Building on RACING EXTINCTION, we decided to expand our wildlife preservation campaign. We wanted to find a way to raise awareness about these issues and have a direct impact to help reverse the devastating trend of species extinction. Less than a year later, we launched Project C.A.T., our partnership with World Wildlife Fund to help double the world’s wild tiger population by 2022.

Tell us why you are passionate about tigers?

I worked with Tom Brokaw for many years at NBC before I came to Discovery and was captivated by his bestseller “The Greatest Generation,” about the Great Depression generation and their “rendezvous with destiny” to win World War II. Additionally, through the documentary RACING EXTINCTION, we all came to appreciate that half of all species will be gone during our lifetime. Tigers are just one example of a gravely endangered species -- fewer than 4,000 remain in the wild today. What’s more, as apex predators they play a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. These facts are startling, and made me ask the question: is this our generation’s rendezvous with destiny? I think it is. We can’t let these species disappear on our watch.

What is Discovery doing through Project C.A.T.?

Through Project C.A.T., Discovery and WWF are making it our mission to ensure a future for wild tigers. By conserving nearly two million acres of protected land in India and Bhutan, we are creating a healthy habitat for tigers and other endangered species. As part of the initiative, we launched our first global awareness campaign in July 2017 on Global Tiger Day, mobilizing numerous consumer brands, corporations and celebrities in our collective efforts to raise awareness and funding. By sharing content across all of our on-air and digital platforms and engaging our partners, we encouraged people from around the globe to donate to Project C.A.T., helping fund the tiger sites we support. This is just another step in Discovery’s fight to save wild tigers and we’re looking forward to doing more in the future.

To continue to support Project C.A.T., please visit

Learn more about the other projects:

Kenya Wildlife Trust

Rainforest Connection

Snow Leopard Trust

Return to Big Cats Team Challenge and join a team!