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.