In 2014 the Animal Planet cable and satellite channel did a survey of 50 000 viewers in 73 countries to determine the world’s favorite animal
The tiger came out on top with a hand full more votes than the ever popular dolphin. The dog, the horse, the elephant all made it into the top 10.
Except none of the other chosen creatures on the list is now speed bred or factory farmed to be sold for its body parts.
That plight is exclusive to the tiger and the demand for the big cats derivatives.
It is a story which needs to be told and understood. A story which involves many illegal players and transaction and as such is not easy to document. While documentaries with a wide range of ‘talking head’ experts explaining the issues are the standard approach in this film we tried to get in on the ground to establish what drives the markets and where the demand is coming from. Then trying to Infiltrate some of these trade networks then became an additional objective
While, as film makers, we ended up taking a position on some of the ethical and moral implications, we do believe a basis exists for different viewpoints on the issue of captive breeding of what are meant to be wild creatures . Is mankind better off knowing that a few rhinos still exist in some stable setting or a few tigers and some cramped cages? How important is the wild component when talking about WILDlife or wilderness.
Will any awareness being created just result in yet some more feel good conservation projects and band aids being marketed as a cure for a patient dying of terminal cancer?
Our hope is that the documentary will stir some of these debates and above all help to take away the excuse of: But I did not know – especially from policy makers as well as the public which has declared the tiger as the world’s favorite creature.