Broken Tail: A Tiger’s Last Journey

About

Watch a preview of the PBS Nature film, Broken Tail: A Tiger’s Last Journey.

The tiger known as Broken Tail was born in Ranthambhore National Park in northern India, a vast, natural reserve for a wide variety of Indian wildlife, but especially famous for its Bengal tigers. Historically revered in Indian tradition, tigers in the area were once protected by maharajahs, and then by government sanctuaries and conservation projects. But poachers have proven to be nearly unstoppable over the years, and tigers have struggled to survive, even with the protection of the park. At one point, there were as few as 26 tigers left in the reserve, and today, the fate of each and every tiger is important to the species as a whole.

Conservation efforts have been intensified in the face of the crisis, and the struggle continues. Broken Tail: A Tiger’s Last Journey is the story of the life and death of a tiger destined for greatness, who may still lead the way to a better future for those of his kind.

From the beginning, wildlife filmmaker Colin Stafford-Johnson could tell Broken Tail was special. Curious, exuberant, and charismatic, Broken Tail wasn’t afraid of anything. Stafford-Johnson and local guide, Salim Ali, spent over 600 days following and filming Broken Tail and his family. Then, one day, Broken Tail simply disappeared. A year later, Johnson and Ali heard news that Broken Tail was killed by a train in Darra, 100 miles away from Ranthambhore. This discovery raised new questions. How did Broken Tail travel so far away from home? Why did he leave in the first place?

Stafford-Johnson and Ali set off on horseback, tracing Broken Tail’s last journey, looking for answers. Talking to poachers and interviewing eyewitnesses, the duo travel across India, learning some surprising facts from this remarkable tiger’s passage, and hoping they will help in the conservation of this endangered species.

Production Credits Print

DIRECTED BY
JOHN MURRAY
COLIN STAFFORD-JOHNSON

PRODUCED BY
JOHN MURRAY

EDITOR
EMER REYNOLDS

CAMERA
JOHN MURRAY
ROBIN COX
COLIN STAFFORD-JOHNSON

SOUND
CHRISTIAN STAUNTON
JOHN NUNAN

CO-DIRECTOR
STEPHEN GOODER

RESEARCHER & LINE PRODUCER
CEPA GIBLIN

PRODUCTION MANAGER
SIOBHÁN WARD

PRODUCTION STAFF
CILLIAN DUFFY
CIARA RICHMOND
AOIFE CAREY
PAUL MURRAY
SIOBHÁN MURRAY

ASSISTANT EDITOR
SÉAMUS CONNOLLY

PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR INDIA
SALIM ALI

PRODUCTION CREW INDIA
ADITYA SINGH
DHARMENDRA KHANDAL
POONAM SINGH
KALIM ALI

SOUND MIXER
JEREMY RYNHART

ONLINE EDITOR
DONAL O'KANE

COLOR GRADE
GARY CURRAN

GRAPHICS
SHADOW INDUSTRIES
HUGH RODGERS

FEATURING
COLIN STAFFORD-JOHNSON
SALIM ALI

ARCHIVE
BBC
F.I.L.M. ARCHIVES
JOURNEYMAN PICTURES
WPA FILM LIBRARY
FILM IMAGES
CLIPS & FOOTAGE
VALMIK THAPAR
RICHARD HOLKAR
RAVINDRA SINGH TOMAR
ADITYA SINGH
COLIN STAFFORD-JOHNSON

SPECIAL THANKS
EMBASSY OF INDIA, IRELAND
TIGER WATCH
MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, DELHI
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, INDIA
TIGER CONSERVATION AUTHORITY, INDIA
INDIAN FORESTRY DEPARTMENT, JAIPUR
STAFF OF RANTHAMBHORE NATIONAL PARK
STAFF OF THE RANTHAMBHORE BAGH
COLM O’BRIEN
MIKE BIRKHEAD
CAROLYN NAYLOR

Produced in association with
RTÉ, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
SWR, ZDF, Arte and ZDF Enterprises

with the participation of
Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board

and the support of
the MEDIA Programme of the European Union

© 2010 Crossing the Line Productions LTD

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SUPERVISING PRODUCER
JANICE YOUNG

SENIOR PRODUCER
LAURA METZGER

PRODUCTION MANAGER
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
JAYNE JUN

RE-RECORDING MIXER
ED CAMPBELL

HD ONLINE EDITOR
PATRICK KRASS

SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE IN CHARGE
WILLIAM GRANT

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

A production of Crossing the Line Productions and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG

This program was produced by THIRTEEN, which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2011 WNET.ORG Properties LL
All rights reserved

WEB CREDITS

PRODUCER
KATE FULTON

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
CHIE WITT

PRODUCTION ASSISTANCE
SAM CHUNG

DESIGNER
JOY WEEENG

PAGEBUILDING
BRIAN SANTALONE

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
BRIAN LEE

CREATIVE DIRECTOR
NICK MILLER

DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL STRATEGY
DAVID HIRMES

SENIOR DIRECTOR
DANIEL B. GREENBERG

WRITERS

Sam Chung
for “Introduction”
"Tiger Facts"

Kate Fulton
"Tigers at the Tipping Point"