American actor, film producer, and environmentalist, Leonardo DiCaprio, has praised Thailand for its efforts to increase the population of wild tigers in the Huai Kha Kheng wildlife sanctuary in Thailand’s western forests.
On Global Tiger Day (July 29), DiCaprio shared his enthusiasm for south east asian tigers.
“In Thailand’s Huai Kha Khaeng wildlife sanctuary, tigers are roaring back thanks to a major long-term effort by the government of Thailand, supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society.”
“As a result, tiger numbers in the sanctuary have risen dramatically, from 41 in 2010-11 to 66 today – a more than 60% increase. In addition, tigers moving beyond the boundaries of the sanctuary are providing a foundation for recovering the population across the entire western forest complex of Thailand, with benefits even spilling across the border into the Taninthayi region of Myanmar.”
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, along with the World Wildlife Foundation, has launched a campaign to conserve tigers throughout the country, under the auspices of the Save Tigers Now project, which is working to double the global tiger population by 2020.
Meanwhile, six tigers will be sent to Cambodia from India and released into Cambodia’s Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary, the last known place a tiger was seen in the sanctuary in 2007.
Cambodia’s Provincial Department of Environment director Keo Sopheak told The Phnom Penh Post that India had agreed to export six tigers and release them into the sanctuary to help restore the species.
According to Wildlife Alliance, the last record of a tiger in Cambodia was in November 2007 in Srepok
“According to the plan, we will release six tigers to be brought in from India. The Indian government has agreed to the scheme.”
Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary was chosen because experts considered the area to be abundant with food suitable for tigers, such as gaur, banteng and deer, he said.
Global Tiger Day has been celebrated every July 29 since 2010, the last Chinese Year of the Tiger, when it was launched by leaders of the 13 tiger range countries – countries where tigers still roam free – and NGOs working to protect the species from extinction.
The Tiger is a media sponsor for Save Wild Tigers.
SOURCES: The Phnom Penh Post | The Nation