A sanctuary for endangered Indochinese tigers confirms a rise in its big cat population, the only one in southeast Asia to do so. Paul Chapman reports.
Thai tiger sanctuary earns its stripes
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This video footage is a ray of hope for conservationists at this Thai wildlife sanctuary fighting to save the Indochinese tiger from extinction.
The footage from cameras scattered around the heavily protected forest reserve has helped confirm a rise in the big cat population.
It’s the only sanctuary in the whole of southeast Asia to do so.
Steve Galster of the Freeland Foundation which fights both wildlife and human trafficking says it shows the seemingly impossible can be achieved.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) STEVE GALSTER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FREELAND FOUNDATION, SAYING:
“We would like to share that success story with other countries because what they’re up against in that particular area is just as bad, if not worse, than in other countries.”
What the conservationists are up against is the scourge of poaching.
Tiger parts are often used in traditional Chinese medicines.
Thai wildlife authorities seized dozens of dead cubs during a rescue operation at a popular tiger temple in June this year.
During 2010 and 2011 the Indochinese tiger population at the sanctuary plunged to no more than 40.
Now it’s boosted the number of rangers and intensified anti-poaching patrols.
Today the signs are that up to 60 of the animals now roam the sanctuary’s grounds of more than 2, 500 square kilometres.
Even so, conservationists say only 3, 900 tigers are believed to live in the wild. A century ago there were 100, 000.