Swamp Tigers

2001, Nature  -   16 Comments

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.

Ratings: 9.08/10from 155 users.

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16 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Kelly

    I liked it, myself

  2. josh Millican

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

  3. 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.

  4. Mike Riberdy

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

  5. UnderSiege

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

  6. 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!

  7. chase caruso

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

  8. dieniggerdie

    These stinky turd savages will extinct these amazing animals soon

  9. 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

  10. John Defalque

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

  11. 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.

  12. Rodney Bresch

    I enjoyed the doc.The lizard wrestling was interesting.

    1. Rodney Bresch

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