BREEDING AND CLONING TIGERS
Natural breeding works pretty well with tigers. Tigers breed readily if given the chance. They also have relatively large litters. Artificial insemination rarely works with tigers but that doesn't stop zoos from trying. There are sperm banks for tigers set up maintain genetic diversity for animals in captivity and, made in the future, in the wild.
There are plans to clone Sumatran tigers using the same or similar technology used in the past to clone gaur. The plan calls for Sumatran tiger cub to be produced by placing tiger DNA into the eggs of a large non-tiger feline and for the eggs to be raised by the same animal.. Researchers also hope to raise tigers from embryos placed in lions. Rare Indian desert cats have been raised from embryos placed on domestic cats.
Reintroducing Tigers to the Wild
In Rajasthan, 400 marble quarries in Sariska tiger reserve have devastated the forest cover and lowered the water table. In 2002, twenty-two tigers were counted in Sasiska National Park but in 2005 the Wildlife Institute of India found no evidence of any tigers during a 15 day search of the park. Poachers had made off with the last one. [Source: National Geographic]
Located in a former royal hunting preserve in the Aravalli mountains, Sariska Tiger Reserve features sharp cliffs and narrow valleys. It was once one of India’s best known tiger sanctuaries. In 2009, five tigers from another reserve were released in the 334-square-mile habitat by India's environment and forest ministry---one of the few times Bengal tigers have been reintroduced to a park. As of 2011 the tigers had not bred, and one tiger has died. Conservationists here call it the “Sariska debacle” because new tigers were brought in without stopping a marble mining project inside the park.
Tigers have been sent to South Africa to teach them to hunt antelope. A tiger version of the movie "Born Free" is implausible at best. The idea of introducing captive tigers into the wild is inefficient and unrealistic. Young tigers learn how to hunt from their mothers, and these skills are impossible for a tiger reared in captivity to learn. It also difficult for a tiger in one area to adapt it hunting techniques to another environment and female tigers do not accept cubs that are not their own. o move tigers from one area to another Says Schaller, ""It would cost millions to breed and reintroduce tigers. If Asian nations want tigers, they can have them far more cheaply by protecting the remaining wild tigers."
Reintroducing Tigers to the Wild in China
Lahu Valley Reserve, an 81,000-acre (33,000 hectare) sanctuary and training center for the South China tiger has been set up in Free State, South Africa by a Beijing-born former fashion executive named Li Quan. The tigers in the sanctuary were born in Chinese zoos and have been placed in a 62-hectare bush enclosure, where they are taught to hunt, and then moved to a 600-hectare camp. The plan is to reintroduce the tigers in the wild — Born Free-style — and help resurrect the South China tiger in the wild in this way. The “rewilding project” has the backing of the government in Beijing and several mostly Chinese celebrities, including the actors Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh, director Chen Kaige and entrepreneur David Tang.
Qian is married to American investment banker Stuart Bray who has helped bankroll her “rewilding” project, which thus far has cost about $12 million. Lahu Valley Reserve is comprised of 17 former sheep farms located in a dry and dusty part of the Karoo area of South Africa. The fairly open and rocky landscape is quite different from forested areas the tigers live in in China. The Karoo area of South Africa was selected as the site of the program because China lacks the habitat and the conservation expertise to pull off such an endeavor. China was supposed to have an area ready for the tigers with sufficient habitat and game in Hunan or Jiangxi province in 2007 but as of 2008 the people that lived in the area had not been moved out.
Quan has been criticized and even ridiculed by animal conservation groups, who say the money that has been spent on the program would be better spent on saving the habitat of tigers that exist in the wild. Judy Mill of Conservation International has called Qian’s project “a circus sideshow dressed up as ecotourism” and called Qian “a wealthy dilettante” who “feels as if she has done something.”
Another tiger is named Madonna. It is not clear whether Tiger Woods or Madonna have approved the use of their names. Critics claim the project is an expensive distraction from protecting the tiger species in their natural habitat. The same criticism has been levelled at China's captive breeding of pandas and other endangered species.
Five South China tigers have been brought to Lahu Valley Reserve. All learned to hunt wild South African game and were fed freshly-shot springboks. After two years one died of heart failure and pneumonia. Another was seriously bitten by a baboon and got dangerously dehydrated. Another took some time to get over her fear of the swaying grass and often sought out a cage where she felt safe. A cub that was born had to be rescued from her mother who did not know how lick the cub dry or keep him warm.
The tigers have spent four years “learning” how to mate and to kill guinea fowl, antelope and blesbok. A ranger with the Lahu Valley project told the Los Angeles Times, the tigers “have no mother to teach them to pluck the feathers off a guinea fowl or break open a springbok, They hope to learn by trial and error. The first couple of kills have to be quite easy. Then you make the process more difficult.”
As of April 2008, three cubs had been born at Lahu Valley. The cubs were born to two females and fathered by a male tiger who appears to have been aroused to perform by the arrival of another male.
Better Compensation for Villagers Living in Indian Tiger Reserves
Mark Magnier wrote in the Los Angeles Times, debacle at Sariska has “created the political will to overhaul park management, with bureaucrats replaced by experts. The nation's tiger budget has been increased fourfold, a prospective mining project in the park was nixed and patrols were expanded. A program to relocate 11 villages in the heart of the reserve was also revamped. Residents had been offered $2,000 to move, which in 35 years persuaded just one family to leave. Now each adult male is offered $22,000, considered a tidy sum, or 2 1/2 acres and $7,500 to build a new house elsewhere. Ten percent of the 800 eligible families have moved, and nearly as many have signed preliminary contracts. Officials hope the area will be free of human residents by 2012. [Source: Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Time, August 13, 2012]
Rama Lakshmi wrote in the Washington Post, In India in 2010 “ Forest officials in Karnataka recently increased by three times the compensation package for forest-dwelling villagers’ relocation outside the park, to $2300....Cheluva Timma, 60, moved out of the Nagarhole forest with his family to a row of cement houses in a flat treeless landscape. “The compensation was good. The human conflict with tigers, elephants, wild pigs was on the rise. We were always living in fear,” said Timma, whose family had lived in the forest for generations. [Source: Rama Lakshmi, Washington Post, April 24, 2011]
But Indian conservationists are divided on creating inviolate tiger habitats and working with forest-dwelling communities. Some point out that a landmark 2006 Forest Rights Act, enshrining the right of forest communities to their land, contradicts the conservation efforts to coax people to move out of tiger habitats. A number of lawsuits have been filed, including one in the Indian Supreme Court, asking the courts for clarification.
Battling China-India Tiger Trade
In April 2005, CITES condemned the Indian government for doing more to protect tigers and other animals. The head of the organization said, “there can be no doubts that India’s wildlife continues ro be plundered by poachers and unscrupulous traders” and said Indian officials aware “living in denial.” Prime Minister Sing responded by ordering a police investigation and setting up a government task force to address the problem.
Mark Magnier wrote in the Los Angeles Time, “Another challenge is to reduce demand. The body parts of a tiger, poached with a few dollars' worth of poison or a $10 steel trap, can be worth as much as $50,000 by the time they're turned into a genital-based soup believed to have aphrodisiac powers and into medicinal powders in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand."India can make all sorts of protective efforts in the jungle," said Belinda Wright, head of the Wildlife Protection Society of India. "But if the relentless demand continues from China, it's a losing battle." [Source: Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Time, August 13, 2012]
In 2009, India’s environmental minister Jairam Ramesh told said, "There are about 4,000 tigers bred in captivity in China and China was operating tiger farms in violation of international agreements, which stimulated demand for tiger parts and the poaching of tigers in India.
In December, 2002, one hundred rare Bengal tigers were donated by Thailand to China. There were reports in newspapers that the tigers were going to be raised like cattle for meat. One newspaper reported that a place called “Love World” on Hainan Island planned to offer tiger meats dishes while people watched tigers roaming around. Government officials said there was no truth to the reports.
Ostensibly the farms are tourist attractions but it is widely believed that their owners hope to use the animals to produce expensive tiger tonics. The income from visitors to the farms would be dwarfed by the profits from sales of tiger bone wine. Siberian Tiger Forest Park in Harbin has more than 700 Siberian tigers. Part of their “survival training” involves setting loose a calf and then releasing a half dozen tigers to case it down.
Somphong Temsiriphong is the owner of the Sriracha Farm Zoo, which has been dubbed as the "world's largest tiger farm" in the 1990s. Located two and half hours from Bangkok, it was home to 35 tigers in 1995. Few conservationist have praised Temsiriphong efforts even though he was helping the animals from becoming extinct and placing them in a place where people can enjoy them. They accuse him of raising the tigers so her can sell their parts on the Asian medicine market
Sell the Tiger to Save It
In an op-ed piece in the New York Times, Barun Mitra wrote: “Which country is thinking about applying free-market principles to wildlife preservation and, in the process, improving the survival chances of a long-endangered species while giving its economy a boost? Communist China, of course. [Source: Barun Mitra, New York Times, August 15, 2006. Mitra is the director of Liberty Institute, a research organization that promotes free-market economics.]
“China joined the international effort to protect the tiger in 1993. But today there is a growing recognition among many Chinese officials that a policy of prohibition and trade restrictions has not benefited the tiger as much as it has helped poachers and smugglers of tigers and tiger parts. Like forests, animals are renewable resources. If you think of tigers as products, it becomes clear that demand provides opportunity, rather than posing a threat. For instance, there are perhaps 1.5 billion head of cattle and buffalo and 2 billion goats and sheep in the world today. These are among the most exploited of animals, yet they are not in danger of dying out; there is incentive, in these instances, for humans to conserve.
“So it can be for the tiger. In pragmatic terms, this is an extremely valuable animal. Given the growing popularity of traditional Chinese medicines, which make use of everything from tiger claws (to treat insomnia) to tiger fat (leprosy and rheumatism), and the prices this kind of harvesting can bring (as much as $20 for claws, and $20,000 for a skin), the tiger can in effect pay for its own survival. A single farmed specimen might fetch as much as $40,000; the retail value of all the tiger products might be three to five times that amount.
“Yet for the last 30 or so years, the tiger has been priced at zero, while millions of dollars have been spent to protect it and prohibit trade that might in fact help save the species. Despite the growing environmental bureaucracy and budgets, and despite the proliferation of conservationists and conferences, the tiger is as close to extinction as it has been since Project Tiger, a conservation project backed in part by the World Wildlife Fund, was launched in 1972 and adopted by the government of India a year later.
“If we truly value the tiger, this crisis presents an opportunity to help it buy its way out of the extinction it now faces. The tiger breeds easily, even in captivity; zoos in India are constantly told by the Central Zoo Authority not to breed tigers because they are expensive to maintain. In China, which has about 4,000 tigers in captivity, breeding has been perfected. According to senior officials I met in China, given a free hand, the country could produce 100,000 tigers in the next 10 to 15 years.
“Wildlife farming and ranching could potentially break the poverty trap that most forest villagers find themselves in. In Zimbabwe, before the current spiral into chaos, villagers had property rights on the wildlife in the forests around them, and they earned revenue by selling a limited number of hunting licenses. They had a stake. At present there is no incentive for forest dwellers to protect tigers, and so poachers, traffickers and unscrupulous traders prevail. The temptation of high profits, in turn, attracts organized crime; this is what happens when government regulations subvert the law of supply and demand.
“But tiger-breeding facilities will ensure a supply of wildlife at an affordable price, and so eliminate the incentive for poachers and, consequently, the danger for those tigers left in the wild. With selective breeding and the development of reintroduction techniques, it might be possible to return the tiger to some of its remaining natural habitats. And by recognizing the rights of the local villagers to earn legitimate revenue from wildlife sources, the tiger could stage a comeback. Market economics greatly favor the tiger. If China decides to unleash the tiger’s commercial potential, the king of the forest might be more secure in his kingdom.
Tiger SOS: Three Steps to Saving the Sumatran Tiger
Saving the tiger is much more than just saving a species. Because it is an “umbrella” species by protecting a viable population of tigers, you also effectively protect thousands of other species living in the same forest. On top of that you are also saving “ecosystem services” – carbon storage, watersheds, stopping soil erosion – that not just wildlife but also humans desperately need for our long-term survival. By saving tigers you also save the planet too. [Source: The Telegraph, February 22, 2011]
The Sumatran tiger is the world's smallest tiger. There are only an estimated 400 to 500 still alive in the wild. The Zoological Society of London's approach to saving the Sumatran tiger, the Tiger SOS campaign, can be outlined in three steps. First, stop the killing. Second, save the habitat. And third, make it sustainable.
“Wildlife Crime Units” in Indonesia are on the front line, tackling the poaching on the ground. “Tiger Corridors Team” are working with government and industry to plan development, enabling Indonesia’s people to progress to modern lifestyles without destroying their forests; and the “Tiger Friendly Carbon Trading” project will make the whole thing sustainable.By stopping carbon emissions from illegal logging and burning, carbon credits can be sold on the international market, providing funds for park protection, community benefits, and government income. Everybody wins!
Indonesia Sells Tigers to the Rich
In January 2010, The Telegraph reported: “The Indonesian government has announced plans to sell tigers as pets for $108,000 a pair in what it claims is a move to protect the critically endangered species. However, environmental groups have criticised the scheme as a money-making scam that will do nothing to save tigers, which face an increased risk from poachers on the eve of the Chinese Year of the Tiger. [Source: Barney Henderson in Kuala Lumpur, The Telegraph, January 21, 2010]
“Three people have already applied to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jackson and Mike Tyson and keep a tiger as a pet. The criteria for taking ownership of 30 available tigers is having a spare billion rupiah ($108,000) and a minimum of five square kilometre of land on which to keep the animals. The government said the tigers would be constantly monitored in their new homes and any mistreatment would be punished by fines or jail. "This idea of selling the tigers to the public came about after several wealthy businessmen proposed buying them," said Didi Wuryanto, a forestry ministry official. "They don't just want to own horses. They want to be acknowledged as special people with prestige, so they want to keep tigers."
Forest ministry chief Daroru told AFP, “We’re noot selling or renting tigers. We;re only authorizing people to look after them. These people will have to follow certain conditions. The tigers will still belong to the government,
Environmentalists warned selling off tigers as pets would encourage tiger poachers. Tiger poaching is on the rise across Asia ahead of Feb 14, the start of the Chinese Year of the Tiger. "It is an irresponsible move by the Indonesian government," said Bustar Maitar, a Greenpeace forest campaigner. "Selling tigers is not the solution. The government must protect the animal's habitat and stop palm oil plantations taking over. This move will just encourage poaching among locals at a time when poaching is on the rise because of the Year of the Tiger."
India Bans Tiger Tourism
In July 2012, India's Supreme Court banned all tourism in so-called core areas of India's 41 tiger parks in a bid to protect the national animal. The move has been bad news for hotels and resorts outside the parks and even diehard tiger supporters question its effectiveness.Mark Magnier wrote in the Los Angeles Time, “Although disputes over unchecked development are nothing new, even many environmentalists think the judges are misguided, however well-intentioned, in their efforts to protect the tigers from extinction. Some even suggest the court was lashing out in frustration because 10 states had ignored its order in April to file plans for protective buffer zones around the parks. [Source: Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Time, August 13, 2012]
“Banning tourists is not the solution, critics say. Vehicle traffic, whether by tourists or forest rangers, provides more eyes and ears against poachers who slaughter wildlife for body parts, which command high prices in China for use in traditional medicine and aphrodisiacs. Until the ban, for instance, the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve limited tourist vehicles to 80 a day and levied a tax to help fund forest patrols. Residents who worked in the tourism business say the proof is in the numbers: In 2005-06, the park had 26 tigers. Despite more tourism, the population is now 53, including at least 25 cubs.
“Tourism also gives residents a stake in tiger preservation, the critics say, provided hotels don't block corridors linking wildlife sanctuaries. Many villagers who were kicked off their land to create the reserves were promised tourism jobs and could grow resentful, leading to more poaching and social unrest. Others point to poor management by the government agencies meant to protect the animals. "I think history has shown you can't keep protection of tiger reserves entirely up to the forestry department," said Belinda Wright, executive director of New Delhi's Wildlife Protection Society of India. "Many, many Indian reserves are virtually empty of tigers, often with virtually no tourism. Tourists offer an extra degree of protection."
Jugraj Mogiya, a former poacher who killed three tigers, told Times of London that poaching will probably increases with the scrutiny and money that tourists bring. Having tourists present scares off poachers. Deprived of income earned for tourism villagers might be tempted to take up poaching as a way to make money.
Magnier wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “Some say the real reason for the court's decision was pique. Tiger reserves are supposed to have a core area that no one but forestry officials enter, surrounded by buffer land that can be visited by tourist vehicles, with hotels and other commercial development outside the park. In April, the court ordered 13 states with tiger parks to file their zoning plans. Only three complied, amid difficulties creating the buffers related to land acquisition, compensation for relocated villagers and local politics. In late July, the court reacted with the blanket interim ban. Although it's scheduled to review its decision this month, residents are bracing for the worst. [Magnier, Op. Cit]
“The real problem, say some conservationists, is poor management. Some forestry officials don't control park access, have little interest in the work, cater to VIPs, even assist poachers for a cut. Poachers reduced the tiger population in the Sariska and Panna parks to zero around 2005 even as officials insisted for years that dozens remained. South Africa and Kenya, among other African countries, have used well-managed tourist programs and higher access fees to fund conservation programs, spur their local economies and fight poaching.”
India Tigers Being “Loved to Death”
In April 2010, the Indian government is said the Bengal tiger was being “loved to death” by tourists when it announced plans to phase out tourism in the core regions of the 37 tiger reserves, Rajesh Gopal, the head of India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority, told The Times. “We should not forget that tiger reserves are primarily for conserving the endangered tiger and tourism is just a secondary outcome,” he said. “Our reserves are small and prone to disturbance caused by tourism. They cannot compete with large African savanna parks, which can stand large number of tourists.” [Source: Rhys Blakely, Times of London, April 28, 2010]
Rhys Blakely of the Times wrote: According to government officials, the species has already disappeared or is in danger of becoming extinct in 16 reserves. The decline is largely due to poaching, but habitat damage caused by tourism has also reached critical levels, experts say. “Seeing a wild tiger has become a kind of status symbol,” M. K. Ranjitsinh, chairman of the Wildlife Trust of India, said. “People do not realise the harm to the broader ecosystem. They are loving the tiger to death.”
“Tourists, whether in vehicles or on top of elephants, destroy the high grassland in which the big cats hunt, and drive away their prey, Mr Ranjitsinh said. In many parks, lodges have been built in core reserve areas while hotels block the corridors that tigers use to travel from one territory or reserve to another. Some reserves have been criticised for using radio telemetry systems for tracking tigers for the benefit of tourists. Once found by a mahout “ an elephant driver “ brandishing an antenna, a single tiger can be hounded by dozens of tourist vehicles. “The parks’ priorities have become warped,” Mr Ranjitsinh said. The bamboo forests and grassland in Kanha provided inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
“Experts agree that only radical action can bring back the tiger from the brink of extinction, but add that tourism is only one of several dangers. Poaching to feed Chinese demand for traditional tonics has taken a heavy toll. So too has competition for space between tigers and India’s booming human population.
“Jairam Ramesh, the Environment Minister, said this month that unregulated tourism was as much a threat to tiger population as poaching. He said that he would clamp down on “mushrooming luxury resorts around tiger reserves”. He singled out Corbett National Park “ named after the British hunter-turned-conservationist Jim Corbett and a favourite destination with Western tourists “ as a habitat that had degenerated because of tourism. At least four tigers have died there in the past two months, according to reports.
Come Back of the Tiger?
In recent years, scientists have been encouraged by the tiger’s resilience and were optimistic about is survival. In many places tigers are showing more resilience that what was previously thought possible. They are holding their own in laces where they have been under threat by deforestation and poaching. In places where scientists predicted declines there numbers and holding steady and in some cases increasing.
A lot of research is be conducted to figure out how much space tigers need and how prey they need to feed on. Alan Rabinowitz told National Geographic, "We need first to figure out where the remaining tigers are. Then we need a triage system like the one used in battlefields, to separate those populations large and strong enough to have some hope of survival from those probably to weak to make it."
Ullas Karanth, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's India Program, told the New York Times in 2006: “In India, wildlife conservation has an unusual history. Tigers were very much in decline until the 1970's, when Indira Gandhi came to power. She was an autocrat. But she was also a very keen naturalist, and she had complete control over the nation's politics. Mrs. Gandhi told her minions that there would be no more destruction of important wildlife areas and she enforced that order. She put in strong laws, stopped uncontrolled hunting and logging in the reserves. And thanks to her cracking of the whip, the tiger came back. That recovery continued until the 1990's, when Indian politics became very fragmented. The leaders we've had since are excellent on economic development, but none have shown much interest in conservation. [Source: Claudia Dreifus, New York Times, August 16, 2005]
When asked if he thought the Indian tiger could be saved. Karanth said, “Certainly. If there's the will. One thing that gives us a head start: India actually has more wild tigers than our neighbors. We won't need to reintroduce them. Also, tigers reproduce easily; they are not like pandas. Also, I believe that there are aspects of Indian culture that can be mobilized for conservation.If you look at the Hindu religion, there's real guilt associated with the killing of an animal. So if you are protecting a park and you catch a poacher, this sense of guilt puts the enforcement officials at an advantage. Another thing, at the core of our religion is the belief that man is a part of nature. This supports the idea that wild animals have a right to survive. I've talked with farmers whose crops have been raided by elephants, and they really hated them. But when you asked, "Don't elephants and tigers have the right to exist?" they always said yes. All these factors make me optimistic.
Reasons for the Come Back of the Tiger
Conservationists attribute this trend to several factors: 1) crackdown on poaching in countries where tigers are found; 2) better understanding of tiger habits and the incorporation of this information into tiger conservation policy; and 3) working with practitioners of Chinese medicine to encourage the use of substitutes.
Perhaps the most effective policy of all has been putting energy into preserving the prey that tigers feed on such as deer, wild cattle and wild pigs. One conservationists told the New York Times, “If you manage the prey species well, the tigers will take care of themselves.” Tigers breed readily and this helps them rebound from near extinction.
Conservationists have been pushing the idea by developing ecotourism and give villagers in a stake in the enterprises would encourage them to behave in such a way that would help tigers survive. But studies have show that the idea of “sustainable use” and humans and tigers sharing the same habitat was not valid. Tigers did much better on completely protected areas, where humans had no or limited presence.
Tigers have showed some resilience to poaching. Indian naturalist Ullas Karanth believes that as long as poachers don’t take to many animals, tiger populations can absorb a ceratin amount of poaching. He told National Geographic, "Suppose a forest holds 24 breeding females and each year 8 of them give birth to a litter of three cubs. That's 24 cubs. In the natural course of things, half of the cubs will die before their first birthday. if properly fed, each of the surviving 12 will either disperse or kill ad replace an already existing tiger. So in a healthy community there's always a doomed surplus."
In July 2012, WWF said significant efforts had been made globally to save tigers following a summit in Russia two years ago that attracted leaders from the 13 countries with wild populations of the endangered animal. Still, it warned more than 200 tiger carcasses were being detected each year on the global black market. "With as few as 3,200 tigers remaining in the wild, every tiger poaching death is a major concern," it said. [Source: AFP, July 23, 2012]
Conservationists Excited by Tiger Population Rise in Nepal
In July 2013, Gopal Sharma of Reuters wrote: “The number of wild Royal Bengal tigers in Nepal has increased to 198, a 63.6 percent rise in five years, a government survey of the big cats showed. The findings are crucial for the protection of endangered tigers facing the threat of extinction from poachers for the lucrative trade in their parts, encroachment of habitat by villagers due to the rise in human settlements and loss of prey. [Source: Gopal Sharma, Reuters, July 31, 2013]
Conflicts between people and wild animals are frequent in Nepal, which has pledged to double the population of tigers by the year 2022 from an estimated 2010 level of 125. "This is very encouraging," said Maheshwar Dhakal, an ecologist with Nepal's National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Department, adding that the Himalayan nation was on target to achieve its goal ahead of the deadline. "But the increased numbers have also added to our responsibilities and challenges for the conservation of tigers," Dhakal told Reuters after releasing the findings of the four-month survey.
The study was supported by the conservation group WWF and the United States. Conservation experts credit the increase to effective policing of national parks, stronger anti-poaching drives and better management of tiger habitats in Nepal, where forests cover 29 percent of the land. Nepal needs to carefully protect the habitat and animals on which tigers prey so the big cats have enough space to roam and food to eat, experts said.
As the number of tigers have increased over the years, so have incidents of conflict with villagers. Seven people were killed in attacks by tigers around national parks last year compared to four in 2011, park officials said. Villagers are also seeking better protection. "Government is making conservation plans for tigers. But it should also come up with plans to protect people from tigers," Krishna Bhurtel, a local village headman in Chitwan, told Nepali newspaper Nagarik. Chitwan is home to more than 100 tigers. Wildlife authorities captured a tiger in Chitwan after it killed two people, including a villager who was pulled from his bed in May.
Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons
Text Sources: National Geographic, Natural History magazine, Smithsonian magazine, Wikipedia, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, The Guardian, Top Secret Animal Attack Files website, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, The Economist, BBC, and various books and other publications.
Last updated May 2014