Discovery explores its wild side 'Living with Tigers'

MUMBAI: Discovery Channel has been funding an unusual experiment for the past four years. It took two captive-born tigers and taught them to survive in the wild. Now, the channel will be airing a documentary based on that experiment, titled Living with Tigers.

The special about the two tiger siblings' journey from cuddly cubs to

professional predators, on AIR in a two-hour special on 6 June at 7 pm, showcases their journey from the US to Canada and, finally, to South Africa, says a company release.

The brainchild of a South African naturalist and filmmaker John Varty-

project Tigermoon- was aimed at finding a way to rehabilitate captive tigers by providing them a place to teach them to hunt and survive on their own, in the wild. To accomplish this, Varty had created a secure 90,000-acre wildlife sanctuary in central South Africa.

Varty and Canadian zoologist/cat-handler Dave Salmoni had adopted the two Bengal tigers- a brother and sister named Ron and Julie, born in a Cincinnati, Ohio in 1999, in captive breeding programme. After staying for several months with Dave in Canada, the six-month-old cubs were moved to South Africa where their "wild" training began - with Varty and Salmoni as their teachers.

The special offers viewers stunning images, shot with cameras often hand-held just inches from the tigers' jaws.

Through the whole experiment, the channel has tried to experiment if the cats can survive in a 12,400- acre free-range area sanctuary on their own. The entire experiment is touted to even hold an answer to the fate of the world's wild tigers.

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