Tigers Fighting Back

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Tigers Fighting Back

Tigers have a right to survive as much as human beings. With fewer than 7,000 of the big cats left, many people think they're doomed to extinction, but some men dare to believe otherwise. The absolute key to saving the wild tigers is protection. If we can't protect tigers, if we can't save them, what can we save? The challenges are immense, but with the help of few committed individuals and their innovative strategies, tigers are fighting back.

In the Russian Far East, the young tiger is on the move. He passes the sleeping village of Tanay, then heads north into the forest. Nobody sees him, but his presence hasn't gone unnoticed. Close on his trail are American biologist John Goodrich and Russian tracker Kola Ribin. They know this tiger. He's one of eight radio-collared animals that the Wildlife Conservation Society or WCS are following in Russia.

Now the tiger is a 19-month-old cub, and he's right at that age where he's spending less and less time with his mother, starting to move more on his own, and this is the first time that he's actually left his territory. There are only 350 or so tigers living along this 1,000-kilometer-long stretch of coast in the Russian Far East, but tigers that enter villages are an ever-present danger to dogs, people, and themselves. John will be watching tiger's every move to make sure he doesn't get into trouble.

Nearly 4,500 kilometers to the southwest, two investigators are going under cover. Australian biologist Tony Linon and his WCS colleague, Callia, are fighting time and illegal tiger trade. They've heard that protected wildlife is being sold in Bangkok's famous weekend market. To gather video evidence, they fit Callia's bag with a hidden camera. Until just a few years ago, tiger skins and bones were openly on sale there. That business has been driven underground, but Thailand is still the hub of Asia's massive illegal wildlife trade.

There are no tiger parts for sale, but they're about to find some animals that are even more endangered. Their video footage will eventually help the Forest Department prosecute the traders, but tomorrow, Tony heads deep into the jungle to help stop this illegal trade at its source. More than 2,000 kilometers further west, Ulas is beginning a journey through the Bhadra Tiger Reserve in Southern India. Ulas has been studying tigers for the Wildlife Conservation Society for more than 14 years. He knows more about India's tigers than almost anyone else.

Watch the full documentary now

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Ratings: 8.56/10 from 18 users.
  • watchtheduck

    It seems like it's always some average person or some cash-strapped animal protection group that is fighting to stave off animal extinctions in light of blood and money thirsty animal traders. Considering how much money is out there in the top 1%, if just one of the filthy rich like Bill Gates, would finance a world anti-poaching team that would out-number and out-arm the poachers, these beautiful tigers and other wild animals including the elephant, could be saved from extinction. So why aren't they doing this instead of simply buying up everything on this planet acting as if the world belongs to them?

  • http://twitter.com/MichealKennedy Mike Kennedy

    FWIW, Bill Gates has donated like, hundreds of millions of dollars to charity.

  • Paul Gloor

    The poachers aren't the problem so much as the market that demands they do what they do. Its sad because those poachers are more often than not (as is the case with Afrikas white rhino), someone trying to provide for their family, they know what they're doing is wrong. I think the whole of the problem is human population.

  • DigiWongaDude

    Interesting...

    "With all of the money and power that men wield in this world, if instead of competing with other men for who has the bigger house, boat, plane, d-k, etc. the money and power was used to solve the issues of poverty, we would live in a much different world. Bill Gates and others in his league have more than enough to help solve the problems of poverty... instead they live in pavillions, the size of which could house an entire village of starving people as they eat at extravagant banquets, and fly their jumbo jets and command their fleets of ships, and spend more money in a year than an entire village could spend in a lifetime. It's criminal if you ask me that some people hoard so much for themselves, while others simply because of where they live have to beg in the streets. I know that there are many that won't agree with me, but I find it beyond disgusting."

    - your, much loved, post from 'Children for Sale'.

    Is your issue with poverty, children, tigers or just rich men? Are you aware of how much Bill Gates has donated to good causes? Apparently not...have a look...

    Search Google for "Bill Gates Charity Donations Total" and you'll find (amongst others) a Daily Mail article "Bill Gates makes world's biggest ever single charitable donation with £6.2bn [£6,200,000,000] for vaccines for children".

    Does this make Bill Gates okay now? Oh wait...there goes Warren Buffet...get him! Put him up against the wall. Mr Gates, you can go now.

    Not only are placing the blame squarely at the feet of rich hoarding men (again), you also unashamedly propose they hold the solutions. They do not. How do I know this? Because children still need vaccines. How would you like it if Bill Gates & friends rounded up the last elephants and tigers and kept them in private safaris away from public viewing as their private property, thereby saving the species? It's up to us (all of us) to decide how to prevent extinctions (and child slavery and poverty), if we indeed can.

  • DigiWongaDude

    Indeed Paul. I saw the White Rhino war going on in Kruger right now. 5 years' salary for one nights' poaching of one rhino. There will always be people ready to risk their lives for that.

    What does it really get them? It gets them a small but real house, perhaps a vehicle/motorbike too and some pitiful bragging rights of temporary wealth...not much more. Then when they've spent their riches (hardly) and go to do it again, they get paid less...and less...and less.

    Sounds familiar to other organised crime activities around the world. Organised crime takes advantage of loopholes, complicity and corrupt officials - same here in my opinion.

    For example - the Kruger National Park crosses international boundary lines that are too hard to protect (the sheer distances involved make it improbable). So why leave the rhinos exposed to this vast loophole? Africa has vast land areas that could be more suitable and protected.

    Could it be that it creates jobs? Could the rarity of viewing these dying species drive tourism? I don't know. But it sure seems far from impossible to fix?

  • Malchik

    Tax write-off.

  • Paul Gloor

    Indeed, I like what one of the fellas out there is doing. Hes ranching and breeding them, sawing off the horns himself to prevent them maiming each other in the closer proximities and indirectly preventing the poaching of his animals. At least its saving the species. While hes dodgy when questioned about what hes doing with the horns, I say more power to him if he takes those horns and floods the market. He'll pay for his ranch, could contribute to future conservation efforts, most directly by preserving some genetic diversity, and maybe he'll undermine the prices and make poaching unprofitable. In this way, as you commented below, those rich folk could actually hold a solution to the conservation of these creatures since one rich man will protect his property with an army, armed with guns and/or those armed with pens if need be.
    Its like fighting hackers, you solve the problem by offering a superior service that people can access legally.

  • Carl Hendershot

    200 500 million is not much when you have 87 billion and counting... Some families are in the trillion marker now.. What does this have to do with anything I do not know...

  • Trevis Robotie

    Great Gates !I wonder if he vaccinates his family ????

  • DigiWongaDude

    He's after the most expensively 'paid for' Nobel Peace Prize in history...but that's another story.

  • rahul01

    Nice documentary

  • Kingdom Fife

    Brilliant doc, GREED is the problem

  • southab403

    I think it would be deemed immoral for the peace lovers to send in armed anti-poaching teams.
    I suppose only Bill Gates could tell you his reasoning.

  • j.d

    Well considering tigers survived for thousands of years being poached not that I condone it its horrible the invention of the western gun and holiday shooting big game really was the major turning point problem now poaching decimates where once it just caused minor damage.. Humans i.e western humans picked the biggest strongest tigers and lions by characteristics that female cats pick mates by this made them genetically weaker and as a consequence more inbred then urbanisation cut through forests and logging humans myself included are like a cancer on this earth we are not a cure if we looked at ourselves more like a disease we could find a better treatment like poverty prevention and paying village ppl money good money to be rangers not trappers but still exists the man with the small penis and a rifle with a bullet that could take down an elephant thinking he is a big man for killing a beautiful big cat and that in old age he will realise he should of turned the gun on himself.

  • j.d

    Western nations could of come up with a ranger type plan and reforesting program for both Asia and Africa and coupled it with education for young children the Iraq war would of cost more but western countries want poverty if everyone is equal where is the power and leverage to be gained from. You may think my posts to be harsh and most likely you think I live outside the west I don't I'm Australian but I am sick to my stomach and foundations like world wildlife foundation do great jobs but they are yet to stop a single creature from the slide into extinction my case in point is that since we introduced the guns "the western world" we do share more than 50% of the blame for this and we need to pump big amounts of western dollars to fix this. I am not a vegetarian I'm not so left wing you could call me bias but I don't think these animals should of ever been hunted in that manner and we can scream all we want and say what they do is horrible in asia and it is but what we did was genetically destroyed a perfect animal unforgivable.

  • tim

    Let's see Bill Gates is a bad person for being rich even if he has donated billions of dollars to charity and has saved or bettered countless lives. HUM!
    Just curious, how many lions and tigers and bears does the world need, could someone answer that.

  • edgedweller

    as many as it takes for poacher/logger/politician population control