Universum King of the Taiga - The Siberian Tiger Returns

Production Overview

„The story of the tigers is also a story of the wilderness, of our origins and of our future place on this planet.“

Franz Hafner, Writer

Across the world, tigers face extinction; there are currently only 4,000 left. In many regions numbers are still declining. Conservation projects began decades ago, but have had little effect. In Russia‘s Far East, however, efforts to protect tigers have been a resounding success. In 1950, there were just 40 Siberian or Amur tigers. With strict conservation plans the population recovered. There are now almost 600. This success has unintended consequences: tigers have come into conflict with humans. They enter towns and villages and kill domesticated animals, and there have been human casualties. It’s a serious worry - and the foundation of this documentary.
The story
A young tiger is born in a conservation area. We’ll call him Amur, and he will guide the viewer through the film.
KING OF THE TAIGA accompanies him through the year after he leaves his mother. His search for a territory reveals the problems facing tigers in Russia‘s Far East, and the conflicts that arise when he strays into human settlements. KING OF THE TAIGA records the battle for survival of the big cats and reveals intimate details of their lives. The animals they prey on are also in the film: tigers couldn’t survive without sika deer, Altai wapiti, wild boars and Asian black bears.
Over the last 200 years it was humans who posed a threat to tigers. They killed them, destroyed habitats and decimated prey. The persecution only ended decades ago when the enemies became protectors. Now this relationship is strained. What future do Russia‘s tigers face? Can tigers and humans coexist?
As yet, we cannot be certain.
A production of Interspot Film for ORF Universum and Channel One Russia. Distributed by ORF Enterprise.

        interspotorf universumrussia oneorf entersprise


Writer & Director: Franz Hafner
Executive Producer Interspot Film: Nikolaus Klingohr, Ingrid Klingohr
Production Management: Isabella Lesiak
Production: 2018-2020

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