Swamp Tigers

Swamp Tigers

2001, Nature  -   20 Comments
Ratings: 8.97/10 from 173 users.

Entangled, mangrove forest on the Bay of Bengal is the kingdom of a creature rarely seen by humans. One of the most efficient predators on Earth, this animal is feared as a killer and a man-eater - the legendary swamp tiger. These tigers are so elusive that all attempts to track them in these impenetrable swamps ended in failure.

More than a decade ago, cameraman Mike Herd captured the swamp tiger on film for the first time. It was an extraordinary breakthrough, the first glimpse into the secret life of the least known tiger in the world - the swamp tiger of the Bangladeshi Sundarbans.

This first tiger footage was tantalizing and all-too-brief, but for Mike it was enough to stir a passion. He resolved to return and unravel the secrets of this mysterious creature. The Sundarbans are remote and dangerous, so Mike will need an armed guard day and night. Somewhere in those 6,000 square miles, 10,000 square kilometers, are a few hundred tigers, yet the only way to track them is on foot.

Four mighty rivers rise in the Himalayas and pass through Bangladesh, dividing into small streams and channels to pour into the sea in the Bay of Bengal. They form an intricate mangrove delta, a collection of sand banks and mud held together by entangled roots.

Flood waters carry human victims downstream; corpses are washed onto the muddy banks of the Sundarbans giving some tigers the taste for human flesh. Every year up to a hundred people are killed by tigers, yet for the poor there is no alternative. The fishermen spend months on-board their boats trying to avoid the bandits who steal their catch and their belongings.

On the muddy bank there is the first tell-tale trace of the tiger - a recent set of pugmarks leading deep into the forest. Then more evidence - huge claw marks on a tree. The air is thick with a pungent smell of tiger. Mike believes it must be a tigress.

More great documentaries

20 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Walkabout

    Nice to see some footage of tigers. Glad they included all the other things, made it a worthwhile video.

    Really weary of the superlatives, e.g. "one of the most efficient predators on earth". How do they rate such things, really? Especially if they hardly ever see one. Most likely just something made up to make the subject they are on at the moment, more exciting. How about sticking to the truth instead. The world is chock full of BS as it is.

    Sad that the fisher people don't value themselves enough to have some sort of protection. Spear chuckers, bow and arrow, rifle, mud or pepper bomb, etc. Or some terrible noise maker that the cats cannot stand.

    One wonders if some of the fisher people or others aren't lost to bandits/poachers?

    The big lizard wrestling was interesting indeed. Quite civilized match. And why aren't they "one of the most efficient predators"? The wild dog-like big eared critters seemed fairly efficient hunters as well as trouble makers, sorry I forgot the name of them from other videos that mentioned.

  2. Kelly

    I liked it, myself

  3. josh Millican

    Ignorance is bliss .. I guess .. We have to protect those cats ... Amazing creatures..

  4. Blaice

    The monkey deer relationship is a beautiful sight to behold. It is always so nice to see such peace in nature, since it is usually much more gruesome. Nothing compares to humans though, the most vile of all creatures.

  5. Mike Riberdy

    A very informative and interesting documentary indeed. Enjoyed every minute of this.

  6. UnderSiege

    It's a beautiful documentary...well done. Incidentally do many of you wankers actually speak/write English as a first language?

    1. Walkabout

      I don't admit to being a wanker like yourself, for not putting a comma after incidentally, however, I do mess up on occasion. Yourn pointe be wel took cuz th writes of sum be hoarid undt stuf.

  7. chase caruso

    listen all were doing is sitting at home o facebook why don't we go out and look at thee things I real life

    1. NotoriouslyGreen

      Why did you just spend the last hour doing what your speaking out against, which is sit and watch a documentary. I mean all you had to do was fly to India, travel to a remote location, and obtain a guide to take you to these swamps to maybe see a tiger, then repeat the last process as many times as it takes to see set tiger. I mean, it's just that easy right?

    2. Michael Healy

      Don't go chase! We love you!

    3. Walkabout

      Good idea chase go for it! For some of us it is a matter of money and priorities for such exotic/remote excursions. However, it is true, we'd be better off doing more outside in the fresh air, if it is fresh where you are at and not filled with chemtrails like most places.

  8. chase caruso

    at 40:32u hear dogs in the backround I hate pouchers

  9. dieniggerdie

    These stinky turd savages will extinct these amazing animals soon

  10. AprilOneal

    You know you're in for a good doc when the 3 minute mark is of tiger feces being poked with a stick.

    1. chase caruso

      listine dose it matter about the feces I mean look at wht were doing were sitting at homr on face book and twitter and not going to see that stuff in real life

    2. Walkabout

      Hilarious comment. Too bad chase cannot have a laugh.

  11. John Defalque

    Excellent Doc-not just about tigers but all the wildlife in this rich region.

  12. User_001

    That's so F'ed up. He has to worry more for other things (man) than he does for man-eating tigers!

    Great doc and very well appreciated.

  13. Rodney Bresch

    I enjoyed the doc.The lizard wrestling was interesting.

    1. Rodney Bresch

      That's def not the only thing i liked...