Living with Tigers

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Ed Fields

This documentary features a Bengal tiger re-wilding project started by John Varty in 2000. This project involves training captive-bred Bengal tiger cubs by their human trainers so that the tigers can regain their predatory instincts.

Once they prove that they can sustain themselves in the wild, they would be released into the wilderness of Africa to fend for themselves. Their trainers, John Varty and Dave Salmoni (big-cat trainer and zoologist), have to teach them how to stalk, to hunt, and, most importantly, to associate hunting with food.

Living with Tigers is, in effect, ‘Tiger boot camp’, with John Varty and Dave Salmoni serving as both surrogate parents and drill sergeants. By the end, they had debunked one of the age-old myths of tiger conservation. They proved that captive-bred tiger cubs can learn to survive in the wild.

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