Broken Tail's Last Journey
Saturday April 27 at 1 pm on CBC-TV
A personal quest to discover the truth behind the disappearance of a captivating tiger, Broken Tail's Last Journey tracks the escape and subsequent wanderings of a male tiger, named Broken Tail, from Ranthambore National Park. One of the world's leading tiger cameramen, Colin Stafford-Johnson, leads us on a search for the truth about the fate of the late tiger, and his obsession carries us on a journey that exposes what is happening to the home of some of the world's favourite and most iconic animals. Designated wildlife corridors and wildlife refuges, although still marked on maps, have mostly disappeared, and Ranthambore National Park is now an isolated oasis in a vast sea of agricultural land. Why did this young tiger leave Ranthambore National Park, supposedly one of India's best protected tiger reserves? How could he possibly have survived in rural India for as long as he did? And what does his story tell us about the fate of the last wild tigers on Earth - an utterly shameful extinction that is happening on our watch?
Colin Stafford-Johnson spent almost 600 days filming Broken Tail and his family for some of the finest tiger documentaries ever made. Broken Tail was the most flamboyant tiger cub he'd ever seen in Ranthambore – impossibly cute, he gambolled and posed for Colin's camera throughout the first years of his life. But then, without warning, Broken Tail abandoned his sanctuary and went on the run - surviving in farmland and scrub for months on end, until eventually he was killed by a train almost 200 kilometres from home. He was barely three years old at the time.
Broken Tail's heartbreaking story will distill all of the tragedies now facing wild tigers – a disaster that India and the world seem unwilling to face up to. Today, some of India's premiere tiger reserves contain no tigers at all a fact the authorities just cannot face up to. Advertisements and websites remain unchanged as if business continues as usual, and many hapless visitors still arrive to see tigers that don't exist. The story of a lost tiger on the run, and a man on a mission to expose the plight of India's last surviving wild tigers, Broken Tail's Last Journey is both compelling and tragic.
Broken Tail's Last Journey is produced by John Murray and directed by Colin Stafford-Johnson.