It seems like the world is finally shifting gears in the right direction. Rare footage of previously unidentified tigers have been recorded in the jungles of Western Thailand, and this exciting new discovery is being hailed as a win by conservationists. By Amitha Ameen

 

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For the first time in four years, endangered tigers have been spotted in the jungles of western Thailand, raising hopes among conservationists for the survival of the species in the region and marking a hopeful path in the country’s attempts to increasing the big cat’s population by 50 per cent by 2022.

The camera traps were set by Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), wild cat conservation organisation Panthera, and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), in what was a joint monitoring programme. The footage shows three male tigers walking past the camera traps, with one of the tigers spotting the camera and approaching it for a closer inspection.

 

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The rare footage was captured near one of the few regions where the Indochinese tigers in the world reside, and conservations have been eyeing the surroundings for a while to see if the tigers will mark their territories here and settle in.

“To witness apex predators, like tigers, returning to forests means the ecosystem is recovering, which is good for all wildlife,” said Eileen Larney, the Zoological Society of London’s country manager for Thailand (as reported on The Jakarta Post).

 

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There are an estimated 160 Indochinese tigers left in the wild in Thailand, with countries like Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia already having lost their big cats. Myanmar, too, is estimated to have just 23 of these magnificent creatures left.

In the last century alone, the population of tigers has drastically plummeted to just about 3,900 from the 100,000 it was a century ago. Extensive and collaborative conservation efforts by dedicated wildlife organisations in different countries in the last few years have seen a positive recovery of the tigers despite poaching and habitat loss.

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