Despite efforts to protect tigers for the past 4 decades, tigers continue to be hunted down – poached, poisoned and squeezed into small pockets of protected forests. Tigers play a pivotal role in maintaining the health of the forest ecosystem and there is an urgent need to protect the tiger and its habitat.
In India and across the world, Tigers have captured our imagination for centuries. We have feared them, respected them and even worshipped them. But during the colonial times tigers were hunted in thousands. At the turn of the century over a 100,000 tigers existed on the planet. Almost 40,000 of these were in India. But today only 3800 tigers survive across the world and 70% of these are in India.
Today each and every tiger is important and that’s why we need to find Sultan. This film follows the story of Sultan, the up and coming dominant tiger of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve who vanished suddenly.
Father and son wildlife filmmakers, Mike and Gautam, had been following and filming him since he was a cub and are now trying to put the pieces together to solve this mystery. More than 12 tigers have gone missing in Ranthambore between 2012 and 2017. Young tigers who go missing are usually thought to have been poached or just lost forever. But the story is much more complicated.
Tigers are born in parks and forests – a safe, secure place protected by their mother. But once these tigers mature they must find new homes but the question is where will they go?
Trackers on ground have proved that tigers leave the protected territory of national parks to walk great distances in search of new territory. Tigers know no borders and young sub adult tigers must walk hundreds of kilometres to find a new home, prey and a new mate. Once they walk out of the protected area of the forest they are in direct contact with human habitation. People and tigers now share a complicated relationship – one of constant fear of the other. This is the story all across the country. Isolated populations of tigers in small fragmented forests surrounded by human beings and villages.
The film looks at broader issues of conservation of tigers and their relationship with the people who share their habitat and the different efforts being made towards conservation in India through the story of Sultan.