Tonight on BBC Two see’s the start of a rather unique wildlife series as ‘Tigers About the House’ follows British tiger expert Giles Clark in his attempts to hand-rear two Sumatran cubs.
Named Spot and Stripe, these critically endangered cubs were born in captivity at the Australia Zoo in Queensland, prior to moving in with Giles and his family. Before being integrated with the other tigers at the zoo, Giles decides to take the pair home for four months in order to allow them 24/7 care, hopefully ensuring their survival.
Starting at 8:00pm on Monday, 16 June, 2014, this three-part documentary brings viewers unrivalled access, giving us an intimate insight into Spot and Stripe’s crucial early development.
Offering something of an escape from the currently football-packed TV schedules, Tigers About the House will air on BBC Two over three consecutive nights at 8:00pm, with catch-up available online via BBC iPlayer.
Episode 1/3 – Monday, 16 June
Growing up in a suburban Australian home and totally reliant on their foster dad, Giles takes on the toughest parenting job of his life in his efforts to bring the Sumatran tiger back from the brink of extinction.
This first episode takes a unique and intimate look at the growing pains of Spot and Stripe, as they struggle through their first few crucial weeks.
Episode 2/3 – Tuesday, 17 June
Starting to become quite a handful, the cubs are now eight weeks old and busy exploring the family home. The pair are now going from strength to strength, especially when Giles begins to feed them meat, bringing out the adult tiger in them. He also encourages their development by allowing the growing tigers outside in the garden for the first time.
Hopeful Spot and Stripe can raise the profile of tiger conservation, in episode two, Giles visits the Sumatran rainforest, the tigers natural home, to view the horrors of poaching and persecution.
Episode 3/3 – Wednesday, 18 June
In the third and final episode, the cubs are now outgrowing the house and developing adult behaviours, meaning the time has now come for them to be integrated with the rest of the Australia Zoo’s tigers. Giles believes Spot and Stripe’s unique upbringing will make them more suitable for a life in captivity, a theory which will now be put to the test.
Though the cubs are now returning to the zoo where they were born, their development is far from over. It’s now time to meet the adult tigers who they’ll be sharing their lives with, plus Giles gives the pair their first swimming lesson. However, all is not well with Spot, who is rapidly developing an eye condition which leaves him fighting for his life.
Preview Video – the cubs try to hone their hunting skills: