Tiger in the House (3 x 60’) – There are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, and efforts to keep the species going in protected environments are key to not losing them for ever. For the next three months, the BBC Natural History Unit is following the extreme lengths one zoologist and family man is going to in order to help protect them.
Giles Clark, the exotic carnivore keeper at Australia Zoo, is in charge of one precious Sumatran tiger – 5-year-old Kaitlyn. Following the birth of her cubs this month, Giles will be helping them to adapt to their new lives by taking the tiger cubs home to live with his family – his wife, two children and two dogs. For the first week of their lives, the cubs have been nursed naturally by their mum, but now that their eyes have opened, the time has come for them to go home to stay with Giles and his family, in order to acclimatize them to a protected life. At home in suburban Brisbane, the cubs will need round the clock feeds, so Giles has converted the family living room into a tiger crèche and drawn up a 24-hour rota.
He will be sharing feeding duties with his wife Kerry, son Kynan (8) and daughter Alicia (16). Even the family dogs (Caesar and Ruby) have a role to play in helping the cubs adjust to their life with other animals at the zoo. Over three months, the family will learn to share their lives as the cubs grow quickly, graduating from milk to eating meat, learning to jump, climb, swim and stalk prey, before they are old enough to be returned to the zoo.
Producer: BBC NHU
Source: BBC press release