In Botswana, Jackson Oz finds his dog Murdock barking at something across the veldt. He tells his dog that that there's nothing there and takes him back to the tent.
The next day, Abraham Kenyatta at the Kituko safari camp is preparing the truck for a photo safari. He goes into his cabin and finds his nephew Daniel watching a video of scientist Robert Oz, lecturing about how animals can sense natural disaster. Robert's son Jackson is dozing in a hammock, and Abraham wakes up his partner and tells him that they have a safari with the Swedes. Jackson reluctantly gets up and Abraham gives him a hangover cure, and Daniel asks what Robert means about the defiant pupil. The American dismisses it as his father having a defiant student, and Abraham says that they're taking radio parts to the Msisimko camp. His friend Simon is having trouble with his radio and hasn't called back in the last two days. As Jackson and Abraham drive their party out to see black rhinos, they spot another guide Philip Weber leading some foreign hunters over to the rare animals. Jackson scares them away with a boom box and Philip storms over to complain. Jackson is unimpressed and Abraham joins him, and Philip's partner wisely pulls Philip away rather than get into a fight.
In Los Angeles, two men are leaving a bar and stop in an alley to urinate. A lion comes up on one of the men, and when he turns to warn his friend, discovers another one behind him. The two lions leap at their prey.
The next day, reporter Jamie Campbell is at the LA Telegraph watching a news report about how two lions escaped the City of Angels Zoo and killed three people. She calls Lawrence Fremer, the chairman of the LA park services, and gets his secretary. Jamie points out that the lions started acting strangely since eight months ago when they ate food provided by Reiden Global. Senior reporter Ethan Boyd calls Jamie in to meet with their boss, Brenda Montgomery. Brenda has Jamie read an article from a blog complaining about Reiden's contaminated food. She knows that Jamie wrote the article and points out that GDJ owns both Reiden and the Telegraph.
As they fly to the Msisimko camp, Abraham jokingly complains about how Daniel is obsessed with science and Robert's predictions. Jackson says that his father is obsessed with extinction events because his theories never panned out, and says that he admires animals because they don't have egos and insecurities. They land at the camp and discover that no one is there. Jackson finds a video camera and he and Abraham play it back. Simon is recording a message when the people behind him start screaming and running. They load up their truck and prepare to head back, and Abraham finds lion dung near the tracks of a single lion. Both guides figure that Simon could easily have handled a single lion that wandered into the camp.
After Jamie goes home, Ethan comes by and she complains that he didn't defend her in the office. Ethan reminds her that they have to keep their sexual relationship secret, and reminds her that he warned her that she's eventually get caught. Jamie assures him that they won't be having sex with him, and Ethan worries that she's obsessed with Reiden. The young reporter insists that she's not incompetent, and tells Ethan to get out as the news runs a brief statement by Fremer.
Later, Jamie drives to Fremer's home in Brentwood where he's having a BBQ. She tries to question him about Reiden providing the zoo's food, and Fremer insists that they changed because they needed a more environmentally-sound food supply for the animals. He tells her that Reiden isn't the culprit and they feed half the zoo animals in the U.S. Fremer's daughter is sitting on the porch nearby, crying, and Fremer sarcastically tells Jamie that she should spend her time investigating the disappearance of all of the neighborhood cats before ordering her off his property.
As the two guides drive off, Jackson suggests that the lions walked into the camp single file, to conceal their numbers. Abraham points out that lions have never behaved that way and Jackson admits that it's a ridiculous theory. As they drive through the veldt, they spot one of Simon's buses parked off the road in the tall grass. The two men grab their rifles and approach it, and Abraham tells Jackson to cover him while he checks inside. Once he goes in, a a woman runs out of the grass to Jackson and tells him that they have to go. A lion enters the bus and Abraham fires at it, but doesn't go out. Realizing that he can't help his friend, Jackson takes Chloe back to the bus as more lions chase after them. They get inside just in time and Jackson starts the truck and drives off. Chloe explains that she was with a safari party out to see gazelles. They got out of the bus and the lions killed everyone except her.
Jamie goes to the animal mammals exhibit at the zoo and finds veterinary pathologist Mitch Morgan waiting for her. He says that he has no idea what caused the lions to attack and they go to his lab where the two dead lions are being held. Mitch says that the animals were healthy and well-adjusted. When Jamie presents her theory that Reiden's food caused the violent behavior, Mitch assures her that it wasn't the food that caused their behavior. Jamie warns that there have only been nine lion attacks since zoos first started, and figures that something strange is happening to cause two lions to go berserk.
As Jackson drives back to the camp, Chloe explains that she broke off with her fiancé after she discovered him cheating on her, but they had already bought the tickets or the honeymoon trip to Botswana so she went there on her own. She asks about Abraham, and Jackson tells her that he was his best friend. The engine overheats and the truck rolls to a stop. Jackson checks the radiator and discovers that the lions damaged it earlier, and tells Chloe that they're going to have to walk to the camp and use the radio to call for help. He says that the lions won't travel far after eating and they should be safe, and Chloe realizes that he's lying. Jackson admits that the lions were acting unusually: the pride that attacked them was all male, and normally prides only consist of one or two males. However, he warns that they have to get to the camp before sundown and starts walking, and Chloe reluctantly goes after him.
Mitch tells Jamie that he has a college class the next day to prepare for, but perks up when Jamie mentions the missing cats. She gives Mitch her cell phone number and he agrees to call her if he comes up with anything.
Jackson and Chloe come to a ravine with a river in the bottom and try to find a way down. Chloe asks where Jackson was born and he says that he moved to Africa to get away from Boston. The lions emerge from the grass and move towards them, forcing them to the edge of the ravine. Jackson looks at the closest lion and sees something defiant in its left pupil. It rears up and he and Chloe fall over the edge. They tumble to the river below and then start heading downriver.
That night, Jackson and Chloe reach the camp. Jackson explains that his father was a scientist and had a theory that animals should be able to coordinate and kill off any predator. However, his theories never panned out and it drove Robert insane. He then made a series of videos about his manifesto and Jackson says that he has them back at his camp. As for the lion he saw earlier, Jackson tells Chloe that his father believed in a theory called the defiant pupil. He's realized that his father was talking about animals, not students, and believes he saw the defiant pupil in the lion's eye earlier. Jackson wonders if his father may have been right all along, and calls Botswana Center for a search and rescue team.
In Los Angeles, Jamie goes to her office to get her things at the Telegraph. Ethan comes over and says that Brenda has agreed to reinstate Jamie if she shuts down her blog. Jamie refuses and Ethan suggests that they take a vacation and rekindle their romance, taking it to the next level. The reporter refuses just as Mitch texts her to say that he's found the missing cats. She drives to Brentwood and meets with Mitch, who explains that he was interested by the case and drove there to investigate.
At the camp, trucks pull up and arrest Jackson when he comes out to greet them. They say that he's under arrest for interference with lawful hunting, and Philip gets out of one of the cars. Jackson protests but the policeman takes him away.
Daniel watches one of Robert's videos. The scientist warns that animal may adapt to survive, eliminating man in the process.
Mitch shows Jamie a tree filled with living cats, all staring down at them. He explains that some predator must be preying on them... and that the tree is near a day camp that starts the next day.
In Africa, one of the lions drags Abraham up into a tree. Barely breathing, he hangs in the fork of the tree as the lions watch him.
- Wayne Pére as Lawrence Fremer
- Isaac White as Daniel
- Phillip Fornah as Guide #1
- Jayden Kaine as Kenyan Policeman
- randon Scott Stacy as Blaine
- Shane Jacobsen as Rudy
- Garrett Kruithof as Australian Dude
- Jay S. Potter as Reporter
- Stella Allen as Fremer's Daughter
- Two unnamed men in Los Angeles (killed by lions)
- Simon, Abraham's cousin and manager of the Msisimko Safari Camp (killed by lions)
- Unnamed tourists staying at the Msisimko Safari Camp (killed by lions)
- First Appearance of Jackson Oz
- First Appearance of Jamie Campbell
- First Appearance of Abraham Kenyatta
- First Appearance of Chloe Tousignant
- First Appearance of Dr. Mitch Morgan
|The Day of the Beast | Caraquet | Collision Point | The Walls of Jericho | The Moon and the Star | Sex, Lies and Jellyfish | Jamie's Got a Gun | Zero Sum | Sins of the Father | The Yellow Brick Road | The Contingency | Pangaea | Clementine|