wildlife documentaries© IMDb

Watch These Documentaries If You Liked ‘The Elephant Whisperers’

The Elephant Whisperers made history as the first Indian documentary to win an Oscar at the 95th Academy Awards this week. It won the coveted award for Best Documentary Short Film, surpassing competitors like How do you Measure a Year? and Stranger at the Gate, to frenzied jubilation everywhere in India.

The documentary follows the story of Bomman and Bellie, an indigenous couple who take care of an orphaned baby elephant named Raghu, and showcases the extraordinary bond between the animal and its caretakers. Filmed in the Theppakadu Elephant Camp within the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the film depicts the couple’s nurturing of Raghu as he becomes separated from his herd due to an injury. In addition to Raghu, Bellie is also tasked with caring for Ammu, a female elephant calf.

Bomman and Bellie hail from the Kattunayakan community, a tribe that has long protected the forest. As they form a familial bond with the animals, the film captures the endearing moments of their unique relationship.

Despite the deep bond that develops between the couple and Raghu, the state forest department eventually relocates the adolescent elephant to another caretaker with more experience. The couple is left heartbroken and misses their beloved ‘child’ dearly.

Throughout the documentary, touching scenes capture the deep love and devotion between the elephants and their caretakers. In one particularly poignant moment, Ammu gently wipes away Bellie’s tears as she mourns Raghu’s separation.

The Oscar-winning film not only captivated viewers but also served as a heartrending call-to-action for wildlife conservation and protection of their natural habitats, as well as the people who depend on them.

Kartiki Gonsalves skillfully portrayed the intricate relationship between the forest and its indigenous people, while producer Guneet Monga played a vital role in its success. For those who were deeply moved by the film, here are five other wildlife documentaries that should not be missed.

Grizzly Man (2005)

Werner Herzog’s captivating documentary Grizzly Man offers a poignant and thought-provoking portrayal of one man’s unconventional relationship with the wild. Released in 2005, the film follows the life of Timothy Treadwell, a passionate conservationist who chose to live among the grizzly bears in Alaska’s wilderness. Herzog’s cinematic genius shines through as he presents Treadwell’s remarkable story with a perfect blend of surreal beauty and heart-wrenching tragedy. It’s no surprise that this acclaimed docu-film is considered one of the best documentaries of all time.

Watch it here.

The Last Animals (2017)

The Last Animals is a gripping and informative conservation documentary that delves into the grim reality of poaching and its devastating effects on the Northern White Rhino population. Through the lens of director Kate Brooks, viewers are introduced to a group of passionate individuals who are fighting tirelessly to protect these majestic creatures from ruthless poachers and illegal wildlife trade.

Produced by an impressive team of industry leaders including Erika Brunson, Geralyn White Dreyfous, and Shannon O’Leary Joy, this documentary is a must-watch for anyone who cares about the future of our planet’s wildlife. With stunning visuals and a powerful message, this film is a testament to the resilience and determination of those who refuse to give up in the face of adversity.

Watch it here.

Gardeners Of Eden (2014)

Gardeners of Eden is a moving and impactful documentary that highlights the ongoing efforts of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to protect Kenya’s elephants, as the corrupt governments fail to stop the slaughter of these animals for ivory. The film, which runs for one hour and twelve minutes, is directed by Austin Peck and Anneliese Vandenberg, and manages to strike a deep emotional chord with audiences regarding the precarious future of these magnificent creatures, as an 80-year-old woman and a crew of rangers try to put an end to the poaching.

With production credits going to Bryn Mooser, Austin Peck, and Anneliese Vandenberg, and editing by Peck, Gardeners of Eden is a must-see film that delivers an urgent message about the need to preserve and protect these gentle animals.

Watch it here.

Mission Blue (2014)

Mission Blue is a mesmerising documentary that delves into the extraordinary life and work of Sylvia Earle, a renowned marine biologist and oceanographer. Directed by Robert Nixon and Fisher Stevens, the film takes viewers on a breathtaking journey into the depths of the ocean, where they can witness the stunning beauty of marine life and gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of ocean conservation. It has won numerous awards, including the News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form, and was expertly cinematographed by Bryce Groark, Damien Drake, and Axel Baumann.

Watch it here.

Blood Lions (2015)

Blood Lions is a haunting documentary that sheds light on the cruel and disturbing practice of canned lion hunting in South Africa. This powerful film delivers an unflinching portrayal of the brutal reality of these senseless killings and is sure to leave a lasting impact on viewers.

Directed by Bruce Young and Nick Chevallier, Blood Lions features a talented cast including Ian Michler, Rick Swazey, and Chris Mercer. Produced by Pippa Hankinson and Jeremy Nathan, the film boasts a well-crafted screenplay by Young, and is a must-watch documentary for anyone who cares about animal welfare and conservation.

Watch it here.