because every tiger counts...


>> Leopards caught in snare trap: 1 dies, other injured   >> Foresters arrest poachers but no account of missing tigers   >> 2 tiger cubs found dead in MTR   >> Getting the numbers right   >> Seminar held on tiger conservation   >> Tiger cub dies in Madhya pradesh   >> Tiger found dead in M.P.’s Shahdol district   >> Madhya Pradesh: Tiger found dead in Shahdol, toll touches 33 in 13 months   >> Madhya Pradesh loses sixth tiger in 2018   >> Tiger killed in MP, 5th in 3 months   >> At 67, Ranthamhore tiger number at all time high   >> Census to help Karnataka retain ‘Tiger State’ status   >> Development ups tiger extinction risk by over 50 per cent in protected areas   >> Tiger census begins   >> Unique project by Uttarakhand Forest Dept: Drones to monitor wildlife corridors   >> First ever tiger census has fruitful count in Karnataka   >> First joint count of tigers in Sunderbans   >> Two tiger deaths in reported 12 hrs in MP   >> 1 critical after being mauled by tiger in Ranthambhore   >> 29 tigers killed in 1 year poaching not ruled out   >> Only 26 leopards left in PKL sanctuaries   >> New measures for tiger census   >> Nagaland: Two arrested with tiger, elephant bones, over Rs 61,000 in cash   >> Centre`s freeze on settling forest rights in tiger habitats to continue   >> Fatal crossings: tigers in 26 reserves under threat   >> Poaching case: Salman appears in Jodhpur court   >> MP Continues to Lose Tigers, First Death of 2018 Reported   >> Tiger Census from Jan 8, safari to be closed for a week   >> 115 tiger deaths recorded in 2017 MP tops the list, Maharashtra 2nd   >> What led to death of the big cats?   >> maharashtra saw 19 tiger deaths in 2017   >> MP records one-fourth of tiger deaths in India in 2017, highest in country   >> CZA seeks report from Raj govt on shifting of tiger `Ustad`   >> Tigress falls prey to wire trap at Panna reserve   >> Tiger cub rescued in A.P.   >> India, neighbours agree to conduct joint tiger census   >> Ranthambore full, two tigers to be shifted   >> Wildlife numbers fall in Jharkhand even as forest cover increases   >> Winter tiger census in Anamalai forest   >> Poacher held with civet carcass in Castle Rock   >> Rajasthan seeks nod to bring tigers from other States   >> Rhino abode short of guards, poaching up   >> Foresters begin probe into death of tiger cub   >> Electric fences killing tigers in Maharashtra   >> State toll 23 as 2 tigers `poisoned`   >> Satkosia tiger reserve set to get 172 sq km more   >> Rhino Killed in Kaziranga   >> Wildlife department to use camera traps to fight poaching   >> Tiger leaves resort at Kabini, enters forest   >> Tiger mauls 10 yr old girl to death in Madhya Pradesh   >> more >>   

General Articles

back Go Back        Print

A Fearful Symmetry

Dipanita Nath, The Indian Express
New Delhi
6 Jul 2017

A still from the film
A still from the film

What happens when tigers are forced into human territory? Krishnendu Bose investigates in his National Award-

Having followed and filmed wild tigers all my life, I set out on an adventurous journey across India to track the tigers outside (forest reserves) and piece together a story that, for the first time, takes a close look at their secret lives,” says Krishnendu Bose about the idea that resulted in his National Award-winning film, The Tiger Who Crossed the Line.

Famous sanctuaries are home to India’s remaining tigers, but one in three of the big cats lives outside the borders, on land where humans have stayed for generations. It is a forced and uneasy marriage. The Tiger Who Crossed the Line explores how both sides make it work — and when it doesn’t. If an early shot in the film is of a tiger sitting in a swamp with fire and fear in its eyes, the following minutes spell out the human cost. In Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district, where Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is located, 150 people are dead, crops have been damaged and cattle have been killed.

“Man-animal conflict is going to be the number one problem in conservation. It is already a problem in rural areas and is affecting cities too. I have a house in Uttarakhand’s fruit belt, where plum and apricot grow, and people are selling off their land because of the destruction caused by monkeys. The whole economy has gone down. In West Bengal, the damage caused by elephants became an election issue as Mamata Banerjee handed out compensation for lives and crops lost,” says Bose, 55.

At the film’s screenings, people almost always share their own experiences of conflict with animals, from wild boars in Himachal Pradesh to leopards in India’s silicon city of Bangalore. “I made a film on the tiger because people like to see and read about tigers, but the intention was to create awareness about a wider crisis,” says Bose.

From Ramnagar on the borders of Jim Corbett National Park, to Pilibhit Tiger Reserve and the Sundarbans — Bose was on the road for six months before he stretched his travel further to the long tiger corridor of central India. “Tigers are ferociously territorial. The moment the capacity of a reserve reaches its ceiling, new tigers are pushed out. Tigers who cross the line, find themselves in a critical situation outside,” says Bose.

The Tiger Who Crossed the Line is the last of the trilogy that started with Tiger – The Death Chronicles, about the reasons the animal is in danger in India. The Forgotten Tigers, which turned the camera on how tigers grapple with life outside protected reserves, can be called the prequel to the new film. Bose’s obsession with tiger conservation began after he visited reserves with his wife, also a filmmaker. He watched a documentary on elephants and “wanted to do the same stuff”.
Filmmaker Krishnendu Bose

In the film, Bose takes his audience on the trip. Beautiful landscapes are captured in shots that tease the eye with the presence of danger. In overhead images, the Sundarbans is a verdant carpet patterned by a winding river. When he follows a kill, Bose tells the camera: “To dive into the undergrowth with a tiger lurking nearby is sure adrenaline-thumping.”

Some of the most outstanding scenes are of the cats at night, their eyes burning on screen. “It was very difficult, I have to confess. The tigers venture into villages at night, so we had infra-red cameras and a network of villagers to track and film them,” says Bose. The Tiger Who Crossed the Line could be a travelogue, did it not concern itself with a life-and-death situation.