Universum King of the Taiga - The Story of the Siberian Tiger

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

Siberian tigers are the world’s largest, heaviest big cats, and are at the very top of a unique eco-system: the Ussuri
taiga in Russia’s Far East. Even bears are not safe from the elegant predators. Above all, however, the tigers prey
on large hoofed animals including wild boar, red deer, roe deer and elk. Their survival depends on a functioning,
intact forest eco-system, and they have therefore become a symbol of this region’s last remaining primeval forests.

The mixed forest taiga in the east of Russia is an exclusive habitat where animals from the north such as reindeer, elks and wolves encounter subtropical species like leopards, tigers and Asian black bears. This amazing mixture of
fauna is unique to this part of the world. 

Siberian tigers, also known as Amur tigers, have shared these remote jungles with ancient hunting cultures like the
Nanai and the Udege for thousands of years. These peoples have always been fascinated by the intelligence of the
tigers and in awe of their incredible strength. These ancient cultures revered the tigers. Upon entering the forest, the hunters would leave small offerings to honour the tiger, the king of the taiga. They would only kill them in exceptional cases: if, for example, a tiger broke the unwritten law and killed a human.

The tigers, on the other hand, learned to fear the unexpectedly dangerous humans and avoid them. This
enabled tigers and people to co-exist and to share the same resources, but depended on a mutually respectful distance. Everything changed when the Russians and the Chinese arrived in the Far East. Suddenly, the tigers were driven to the edge of extinction, as people hunted and captured them out of fear, to use them as medicine or to put them on display in zoos.

In the course of just two hundred years, the population dwindled from thousands of tigers to less than fifty. At
the last possible moment, hunting ceased and the tiger was declared a protected animal. These measures had
the desired effect: there are now more than five hundred Siberian tigers roaming the forests of the Far East. Russia is particularly involved in ensuring the continued survival of the mighty big cats. Huge areas are declared conservation sites, large amounts of money are spent on wardens and the preservation of the tigers’ habitat, and poaching is being combatted effectively.

Since the tiger populations have recovered, the animals have begun to spread out, requiring humans and tigers to
once again find ways of co-existing. This is not always easy, particularly for the self-proclaimed “pinnacle of creation”. The tigers are both cleverer and stronger than humans. In the forests, the people cease to be masters and become rivals – or, indeed, prey. This is an unusual position for humans to be in, a theme that runs throughout “The Story of the Siberian Tiger”.

Interspot Filmorf universumRussia 1


Writer & Director: Franz Hafner
Executeve Producer Interspot Film: Heinrich Mayer-Moroni
Production: 2018-2020

Your Contacts

Heinrich Mayer-Moroni
Heinrich Mayer-Moroni
Telephone: +43180120-420