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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » Tiger Crisis

Tiger Crisis  (1994)

Ranthambore's tigers in crisis

A hard-hitting and in-depth investigation into the illegal tiger trade, Tiger Crisis brought the sheer scale of the poaching industry to international attention.  Featuring dedicated champions of conservation; George Schaller, Ullas Karnth, Ashok Kumar and Valmik Thapar, and scripted by Stephen Mills, this BBC film directed by Mike Birkhead uses hidden cameras as it travels throughout Asia, revealing the shocking extent of the tiger trade.

Vivid and unsettling, contrasts are drawn as footage of a tigers’ capture, slaughter, and subsequent skinning is interwoven with images of them undisturbed in their natural habitat. As they hunt, swim and play, a pelt is calmly exchanged for a Mercedes and a raided Chinese herbalist shop is littered with their skulls and bones.

A powerful and deeply moving piece, this award-winning production examines how previously successful conservation initiatives, such as Project Tiger, have been undermined. Culminating in the biggest discovery of slaughtered tigers in India’s history, Tiger Crisis brings to light the perilous position of these big cats and the imminent nature of their extinction.

Since this film was made in 1993 the media fight to save the tiger has gone on and can be seen in films by the same director; Tiger Zero and Battle to save the Tiger.

 Tiger Crisis won the 1994 Wildscreen Festival Conservation/Environment award.

Copyright holder

Copyright Holder: BBC - Natural History Unit
Address: c/o BBC Motion Gallery
Room E251
80 Wood Lane
W12 0TT
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8433 2861 / 2

Film credits

Associated Broadcaster: National Geographic Television & Film
Dubbing Editor: Julie Mitchell
Dubbing Mixer: Graham Wild
Executive Producer: Keith Scholey
Film Editor: Andrew Naylor
Fixer (Regional): Jane Sabherwal
Graphic Design: 422 Videographic design
Interviewee: Valmik Thapar
Interviewee: George Beales Schaller
Interviewee: Richard Leakey
Narrator: Gavin Hewitt
Photography: John Davey
Photography: Mike Richards
Photography: Tejbir Singh
Photography: Lawrence Dodds
Producer: Mike Birkhead
Production Assistant: Karen Hewson
Production Organisation: BBC - Natural History Unit
Research: Ross Couper-Johnston
Sound: Mark Holding
Unit Manager: Nicky Spode
Video Editor: Steve Olive
Writer: Stephen Mills
Facing extinction
Facing extinction
Ranthambore's tigers in crisis
Ranthambore's tigers in crisis
The tiger - a poachers commodity
The tiger - a poachers commodity