Tiger - Spy in the Jungle

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Nature Documentary hosted by David Attenborough and published by BBC in 2008 - English narration

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Image: Tiger-Spy-in-the-Jungle-Cover.jpg

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From the day their eyes open and they tumble out of the den, Tiger – Spy in the Jungle captures the day-to-day lives of four tiny tiger cubs as they grow up alongside their devoted mother in the very heart of India. The tiger is not only the world's favourite wild animal but also one of the rarest, and as Sir David Attenborough says, "This is the most intimate portrait of tigers ever seen."

To enter the world of this tiger family, John Downer and his wizard team, cameraman Michael Richards and techno-boffin Geoff Bell, deploy the ultimate all-terrain camera vehicles – elephants – kitted out with the latest high-definition 'secret weapons' of wildlife filmmaking – trunk-cam, tusk-cam and log-cams. The four elephants here in India's Pench national park have also been taught new filming skills by their mahouts – how to keep a steady trunk and a delicate touch. As eco-friendly 4X4s, the elephants carry the hefty trunk-cam and smaller tusk-cam wherever the tiger family goes across its 10-square mile territory. The tigers seem oblivious to the elephants and allow them to place trunk-cam right under their whiskers to film. The elephants also use the devices to film the tigers on the move. The human film crew film from another elephant and control the ele-cams remotely.

Tigers may be the A-list celebrities, but there's a cast of rising B-list stars too. Cheeky langur monkeys are transfixed by their reflections in log-cam, and rare sloth bears, red dogs and a leopard with her cubs all make cameo appearances.

It's almost unheard of for four cubs to survive through to adulthood, and these four face many dangers along the way – from rogue male tigers and leopards in their territory to being left home alone. Tiger – Spy in the Jungle is there every step of the way.

[edit] Programme 1

Four 10-day-old tiger cubs, two females and two males, are living in the Indian jungle. This is their mother's first litter and the cubs insist on tumbling out of the den, only to be carried delicately back to safety in her massive jaws.

As they grow, their diet changes from their mother's milk to meat. At 14 weeks they can eat over a kilo of meat a day between them - the equivalent of 20 large steaks. It's a good job that this tigress is such a skilled hunter and that spotted and sambar deer are so plentiful. Charger, their imposing father, keeps his distance but helps to protect his vulnerable offspring from rogue male tigers and leopards. Life seems sweet, until one day the cubs are left home alone and one of their greatest threats, an Indian leopard is near by.

[edit] Programme 2

The cubs are half grown and still pretty playful but it's time to learn the hunting and fighting skills they'll need as adults. Play fighting erupts between them - it looks nasty, but their claws are never drawn. The young tigers have huge appetites and their mother must hunt successfully most days to satisy them. When they're not eating, playing or fighting, the cubs sleep - and tigers love water, so a cooling water hole is perfect on a steaming day. The spy cameras show that this wallow is also a magnet for a whole array of other forest animals, including wild boar and sloth bears.

The cubs are starting to behave as individuals and take personal hunting tuition from their mother. Then disaster strikes when both their parents are injured, and a rogue male tiger puts in an appearance. They still have a lot to learn.

[edit] Programme 3

The cubs are beginning to gain their independence. They must hone their hunting skills, and the two males must prepare to leave their mother and sisters and face the world on their own.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Format: XviD 2 Pass
  • Video: 640 x 352 @ 25fps
  • Audio: VBR MP3 ~128k
  • Source: DVB

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