Tiger Population in Thai Wildlife Sanctuary Sees Increases for the First Time in 30 Years

Some good news out of Kanchanaburi, Thailand has arrived. A wildlife sanctuary in Southeast Asia has seen its tiger population increase for the first time in three decades.

Staff working at the Salak Phra Wildlife Sanctuary were able to identify three Indochinese tigers by their distinctive stripe patterns. The three cats were observed in a nature reserve to the north, last year, noted the Bangkok Post.

Asian tiger
Photo: Pixabay/RaeWallis

Tiger Stripes

Each tiger’s stripe pattern is completely unique and as distinct as human fingerprints. Staff at the sanctuary are familiar with the patterns of the cats already living there. The stripes of the three tigers in the trail cam footage couldn’t be identified, indicating that the animals represent an increase in tiger populations. The new felines on the prowl were a mother tiger and her two cubs.

The sanctuary has been working hard to increase tiger populations there for many years. Back in 2014, the park released 16 banteng cattle with the hope of attracting the endangered felines to protected areas. They’d like to lure more of the big cats to the region, so that they will mate.

Asian tiger
Photo: Pixabay/parkineer

Wildlife Sanctuaries

Established in 1965, Salak Phra is the first sanctuary in Thailand used for research and the study of wildlife. Lush with vegetation, it covers an area of about 8,000 acres and is located right next to Thung Na Mon.

In the last few years, the population of wild banteng has reportedly grown to include 43 animals. If the images are any indication, the tigers have indeed noticed the enticing new menu options and decided to stick around for better — and safer — eats.

Asian tiger
Photo: Pixabay/Pfüderi

World Wildlife Fund

According to the World Wildlife Fund, “After a century of decline, overall wild tiger numbers are starting to tick upward. Based on the best available information, tiger populations are stable or increasing in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Russia, and China. About 4,500 tigers remain in the wild, but much more work is needed to protect this species if we are to secure its future in the wild. In some areas, including much of Southeast Asia, tigers are still in crisis and declining in number.”

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