16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Another excellent BBC wildlife documentary series,
This review is from: Tiger - Spy in the Jungle  [DVD] (DVD)
This captivating series follows a family of Indian tigers from when the cubs are 10 days old to when they reach maturity. Using modern filming techniques (and disguised cameras carried by elephants), this film gets amazingly close to the tigers, their prey and their rivals, and captures their hunting and family behaviour in ground-breaking detail. There are fewer than 3500 Indian tigers left alive in the wild, and this is probably the best footage we'll ever see of a young family.
The narration is top-notch as usual from David Attenborough, although the infatuation with 'rock cam' and 'trunk cam' and the like is getting a bit old. However the pictures are well worth the techno-wheez, because we see the four cubs from their earliest days in intimate close-up. It's unusual for a tiger litter to be this big, and the young mother has real trouble keeping all four of them under control (even when they can hardly walk straight!)
The filming and script are unsentimental, if a little bit dramatic to keep things pepped up. In fact the tiger cubs are under constant threat. They live on a wildlife reserve but even so must be protected from poachers. The only protection from other animals is their mother, who must hunt for herself and the cubs, and keep away leopards and jackals, and fend off any strange male adult tigers. She also has to do a formidable amoutn of hunting to keep the cubs from starving, and it's fascinating to watch her stalking, chasing and -- sometimes -- actually catching the deer she regularly preys upon.
OK, so if you've seen many wildlife films then you're used to the life cycle of a tiger and there are no great shocks here. But the level of depth is remarkable; the cubs are utterly unafraid of the cameras and frolic around next to them, swimming in pools to beat the summer heat. The cameras also capture the other animals which share their territory -- monkeys, deer, sloth bears and red dogs and more.
The series follows the family for two years as the cubs grow to maturity, and survive the threats from their surroundings and other animals. Finally the play fights turn to real aggression and the family has to break up, so that the young tigers can find territories of their own. If you aren't moved by their story then your heart has indeed turned to stone. Watch it before they are all gone...