Thursday May 17, 2012 | 08:49 AM

Falcons of Al Maha. Lions of Western Zambia. Crocodiles of Tanzania. Jaguars of South America.

They'll all be stepping out of their native habitats, so to speak, to make appearances this weekend at the annual Maine Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in Bar Harbor.

The festival's purpose is to "educate, enlighten, entertain and inspire the people of Maine and the New England" so we northerners will understand how and why the wildlife of the world must be protected. And in addition to its educational purposes, the MWCFF will provide some breath-taking footage with short films ranging from six to 60 minutes.

"Crocs of Katuma," making its Maine premier on Saturday in the 4 to 6 p.m. session, is a perfect example.

All films will be shown at Reel Pizza Cinerama, 33 Kennebec Place in Bar Harbor. Ticket prices range from $8 for a two-hour series to $75 for a festival pass.

If you're a fan of elephants, make "The Last Elephants in Thailand" part of your weekend plan during Saturday's 6 to 8 p.m. session.

See the entire schedule here.

Sunday's 4 to 6 p.m. selections include a pair of Maine-made films. "The Maine Black Bear: A Symbol of the Wild" was produced by the Maine Department of Inland Fish & Game. The 17-minute short will make it's world premiere. "Help Protect Maine's Piping Plovers" was co-produced by Maine Audubon and Maine Department of Inland Fish & Game. It runs just 10 minutes.


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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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