In 2015 in the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in India, a man was found dead, presumably mauled by a tiger. There were of course many suspects, however, forest rangers soon decided that it was a tiger named T24 that was responsible due to his history of violence.
This caused a public outrage though as many activists for the safety and preservation of tigers in the wild believed that there was insufficient evidence that T24 was responsible. However, there are also those who believe that the forest rangers did what they had to do in the circumstances and had no other choice. This led to a debate, not only about T24’s life, but about the safety of all tigers, particularly since the tiger population has diminished so significantly in the past 100 years.
Tiger 24 is a documentary by Warren Pereira which was supposed to be about the way that tigers are cared for in nature reserves. However, it soon turned into something much bigger which is still debated today. Taking both sides of the story, Pereira’s documentary shows the audience everything from governmental policies to T24’s own history of attacks so that it can help them decide for themselves.
Every little thing is explored from government records and the details of every incident involving T24 so that the audience can make up their own minds.
However, by presenting the evidence from both those who oppose and support the forest rangers’ decisions, there’s something that becomes clear in the conditions in which T24 is held captive. Laying out in no uncertain terms exactly what has been taken away from him, Pereira’s documentary still makes his audience feel for the tiger whether he was wrongly imprisoned or not.
Tiger 24 turns out to be a documentary that Warren Pereira may not have intended to make, but it becomes much richer by showing the issues so thoroughly. It manages to show a balanced account of a terrible incident and somehow doesn’t pull on the heartstrings.
In the end there doesn’t seem that there’s anything that can be done, but perhaps highlighting these issues can help towards it not happening again.
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