Locals in the Chong Sadao sub-district in the central province of Kanchanaburi sought help from the authorities after mysterious footprints of a tiger were spotted in the community.
Chong Sadao sub-district chief Wasan Soonjirat reported to the media that he was notified about the tiger footprints at 8.30am yesterday, January 5. The footprints were discovered near the community and forest boundaries.
A specialist from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) investigated the spot to identify the type of tiger. The specialist confirmed that the footprints belonged to the Bengal tiger. It was a pretty big one because the footprint was over 10 centimetres long.
The footprints were located about 3.5 kilometres from the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary and two kilometres from Erawan National Park, which is a popular tourist spot. A number of camping sites, resorts, and restaurants are located near the National Park, so officers were charged to track down the tiger as soon as possible to prevent locals and tourists from being in danger.
Several locals admitted they were scared of the tiger attacking them. Only recently, residents in the area suffered from a wild elephant stampede a week ago and do not want to face any more issues.
The Bengal tiger is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). India has the greatest number of Bengal tigers in the world. Thailand is the second largest habitat for Bengal tigers with about 117, according to a report by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation last year.
The Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, which covers the northern part of Kanchanaburi and the southern part of Tak, is the main habitat for Bengal tigers in Thailand.
Investigating officers and officials were unable to find the mysterious tiger which looks to have moved on to another location.
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