Cat. 3, Activism 8 – BL-45 – Champions of The Wild

Cat. 3, Activism 8 – BL-45 – Champions of The Wild

Ch. 45 –  Champions of The Wild

In the summer of 1997, I received a phone call from Chris Buyere, CEO of Omni Film and producer of the highly successful TV wildlife documentary series “Champions of The Wild”, which as it happened ran for five seasons on Discovery Channel in twenty countries from 1998 to 2002, later taken up by Animal Planet and Knowledge Network and rerun numerous times well into the second decade of the 21st Century. The purpose of Chris’s call was to ask me to be their “Champion of the Bengal Tiger” in Season 2.

“Each episode of the Champions of the Wild series takes viewers on an exciting trek into the fascinating world of the wild. The audience is transported to different parts of the globe to witness the intriguing bond between dedicated wildlife conservationists and the animals they champion,” Chris said. “We’re filming the 13 episodes of Season 1 this year, which will air next year. The Bengal Tiger episode will be Episode 2 of Season 2. Its filming dates will be somewhere around January of next year, and will be aired in 1999, if you’re interested.”

And so, January 1998 saw me again in India working, this time with Director Andrew Gardner and Executive Producer Michael Chechik, at Bandhavgarh tiger reserve. We chose Bandhavgarh over Kanha because its forests were more open and the chances of tiger sightings were higher. It was also the home of the tigress Sita made world famous by National Geographic which did a cover article on her and her cubs a few years back. It did not disappoint, and neither did she. I have pictures of her taken with my own camera to prove it. The filming took about two weeks. The rest of my two months there, and at Kanha, I did my usual work, mostly with Faiyaz Khudsar.

Faiyaz and I worked very harmoniously together. You should see us at one of our slideshow presentations. I would rattle off a line in English, and he would just as quickly rattle off the same line in Hindi. There was not one in the audience regardless of age who was not mesmerized. I brought to India a 3-ring folder thick with photocopies of the newspaper articles I had garnered, both in English and Hindi, most of which with pictures. Faiyaz would bring that folder to one village after another, booking slideshow presentations. There was not a single decliner.

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Anyone interested in seeing the CHAMPION OF THE BENGAL TIGER episode of the CHAMPIONS OF THE WILD series please go to Youtube and search for “Anthony Marr tiger”. Enjoy!

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February 24, 1998
The News, Parksville – Qualicum Beach, BC

WCWC’S BEAR MAN RETURNS TO QB

… as the new Tiger Man. Anthony Marr will be in Qualicum Beach next Tuesday, presenting slides of his two recent trips to India…

Marr has stirred up a media storm wherever he’s been…

Marr will be “Champions of the Bengal Tiger” in Omni-Film’s Champions of the Wild series on Discovery Channel this fall…”

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February 24, 1998
Comox Valley Echo, Courtenay

SAVING THE TIGER THEME FOR SLIDESHOW

… “Please come out to witness the beauty of these magnificent animals and celebrate the ray of hope that Anthony brings us.”

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February 24, 1998
The Free Press, Nanaimo, BC

“CHAMPION OF THE TIGER” VISITS

The “Champion of the Tiger” will share his story with Nanaimo…

The slideshow starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Maffeo-Sutton auditorium… on March 5…

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June 5, 1998
West Kootenay Weekender, Nelson, BC
by Darren Davidson

PROFILE: PRESERVATIONIST ANTHONY MARR BARES HIS STRIPES

Being beaten for what you believe in is nothing exceptionally shocking for animal conservationist Anthony Marr…

“I don’t see being beaten up as being a personal sacrifice. It’s a professional risk. It just comes with the job.”…

… In 1996, Marr and WCWC launched one of the most high profile animal conservation crusades Canada has ever seen…

DD: “Your story is certainly one of personal conviction.”

AM: “Well, I have a lot of respect for children. When young children, in elementary school, tell me they think killing animals for fun is wrong, I feel an obligation to champion their cause, because they cannot yet speak for themselves. That is a very powerful motivation for me… I also have my own personal feelings… I do love these animals that they kill.”

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November 26, 1998
Nelson Daily News
by Bob Hall

KIDS IN TIGER’S GRASP

Anthony Marr… is touring area schools this week promoting the Save-the-Tiger campaign. With the help of the Nelson Youth Environmental group who put on a play of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax followed by Marr’s slideshow… Wednesday morning, Marr talked to Hume Elementary School students in front of a 12 foot high, 50 feet long inflatable tiger prop. To bring further attention to the issue there will be a Save-the-Tiger Walk-a-thon this Saturday at Lakeside Park starting at 11 a.m. For more information contact the Nelson Eco-Centre.

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December 2, 1998
Trail Daily News
by Lana Rodlie

WCWC SHARES EXTINCTION FEARS WITH AREA STUDENTS

… By bringing the message about diminishing tigers to area schools, Anthony Marr is hoping to save the tiger, one child at a time…

Pointing out how every living thing affect the life of something else, he asked the children, ‘How many cows do you think live in India?’

Would you believe 500 million?

Cows eat grass. Deer eat grass. Tigers eat deer. If the cows eat up all the grass, what do you think will happen to the deer, and the tiger?…

“If you go into an Indian national park, you’re not allowed to touch anything, take anything, not even pick a blade of grass. You are not allowed to leave the vehicle, not to leave footprints behind. But would you believe in a BC park, you are allowed to hunt just about every species, including the highly vulnerable Grizzly bear?…”

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“God” was not on our side in 1998. The second Save-The-Tiger-Walk was set on a day of ferocious rain storm. It kept all the kids at home, and all the TV cameras at their stations. It didn’t just dampened but washed out the spirit of whoever braved it out there. At one point, the wind tore our Big Baby Barabacha off its mooring and sent it soaring above the tree tops.

 

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