“Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” And one of them seems to be thriving in Asia.
Throughout Asia, camera trap images are showing an increased number of the ferocious feline. Due to better protection laws preserving natural habitats, numbers are rising to the point where tigers are being forced out of groups just for the sake of having room.
An example of the protection laws includes the arrest of a poaching ring in Thailand just last year, with prison sentences up to five years, according to Yahoo News.
The numbers could also be the result of the Buddhist belief that animals are reincarnations of people, and people show respect to their fallen loved ones and ancestors by leaving animals alone.
Tiger numbers in Thailand have been rising steadily in their Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary since 2007, with an astounding 50-plus tigers counted last year, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said. The sanctuary is part of the Western Forest Complex, whose core spans 7,000 square miles (18,000 square kilometers) and is home to around 125 to 175 tigers.
In the Nagarahole and Bandipur national parks of India, tigers have reached saturation levels, with more than 600 individuals photographed in the past decade, says LiveScience.com.
Around 3,200 tigers live in the wild, with only 2,500 breeding adult pairs, according to TRAFFIC, a monitoring group sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
WCS president Cristián Samper made a statement:
“Tigers are clearly fighting for their very existence, but it’s important to know that there is hope. Victories like these give us the resolve to continue to battle for these magnificent big cats.”
There could be hope for the endangered species of the world yet.