Close up and personal with Tigers About the House

Giles Clark works has been having close-up and personal relationships of the good clean fun type, with tigers since he ...

Giles Clark works has been having close-up and personal relationships of the good clean fun type, with tigers since he was a 16 years old.

REVIEW: 

It's the perfect nature reality television series for a mid winter day when one can draw the curtains and relive the executive stress by watching baby tigers padding around a suburban home in Tigers About the House (Prime, 7.30pm, Wednesday).

And these are no ordinary cubs. Spot and Stripe – not the most original names in the baby name book, are Sumatran tigers of which there are only 500 living outside Sumatra.

Quite frankly this ridiculously cute first episode had the best action in a nature programme since Poppy farted on The Bachelor. Giles Clark works at the Australian Zoo in Queensland and has been having close-up and personal relationships of the good clean fun type, with tigers since he was a 16 years old.

Destined to be superstars while still in their mother Caitlyn's (no relation to Ms Jenner) tummy, we got to watch the birth of the royal male cubs as Clark hovered close by staging an intervention to help latch Spot on to the exhausted mother's nipple – if tigers do have nips.

Because they are so rare and fragile Clark decided to take no chances and removed them from Caitlyn's expert mothering to take them home to his charmless concrete bungalow. But who needs taste when you've got two dogs, a pet snake, and two tigers as wall-paper?

Who watching didn't feel a pang for mother Caitlyn taken off for a routine bush walk on a leash to distract her, while the cubs were removed as she returned home to an empty nest? Apparently, and we can only take the zoo's word for it, Caitlyn didn't seem that fussed and there were no signs of separation anxiety.

Clark in his wisdom thought zoo keepers knew best and decided to hand raise the cubs in a cardboard box at his home, his delighted son managing to tear his eyes away from the television to stare fascinated at the uncouth cubs. Bottle-feeding several times a day on tiger supplement (Fonterrra take note) became something of an onerous task, the little lads hanging on to the side of their bottles in cute paw clinging poses that would turn even the hard-hearted cat curtailer Gareth Morgan's chest organ to mush.

Looking a day older than God, Clark staggered through the first weeks of tiger life and was beside himself when post vaccine, the cubs became poorly, vomiting up bile while zoo personnel lay down beside the fur superstars fuss-potting and stroking them back to dear life.

What a truly heart-warming show. More of this please, rather than Come Dine with Me to follow on the petrol headed heels of Road Cops on TV3, adding more weeks of prime time television grot as the search for a John Campbell replacement grinds on.

 ONE TO WATCH

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Mike Tyson gives tongue on Lip Sync Battle tonight on TV3, 7.30pm followed at 8.30pm by the appearance of actors Melissa McCarthy and Spy co star Jude Law on The Graham Norton Show, while Florence + The Machine provide the music.

 - Stuff

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