Tigers in Bhutan:’significant discovery’ for survival

September 20th, 2010 - 5:56 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 20 (IANS) Rare film footage showing tigers roaming the wilds in Bhutan could be the “missing link” to an ambitious plan to try and save them from extinction.
The film provides the first real evidence that tigers can thrive in the rarefied heights more than 13,000 feet above the sea level.

A team from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Natural History Unit captured the images using hidden cameras wedged into gullies and trees over six weeks during an expedition to Bhutan.

Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan said the footage reduced him to tears when he watched it for the first time, reports the Telegraph.

“It was beyond words, pretty overwhelming,” he said.

“We were there for about six weeks. For me the whole purpose of the expedition was to film evidence of the tigers living in Bhutan so all the effort and everything we did came down to a few seconds of footage,” said Buchanan.

“This is such a significant discovery for tiger survival. The tigers’ behaviour suggests they are breeding and I am convinced that there must now be cubs somewhere on this mountain,” he said.

“At current rates tigers will become extinct in around 15 years,” he said.

“I have spent a lot of time working with tigers in India and looking for them in Russia and pretty much everywhere they face problems,” said Buchanan.

“Bhutan is a Buddhist country and they don’t hunt any wildlife and because the country is so, poachers would find it very difficult to hunt them there,” he said.

The team also filmed the elusive snow leopard.

The footage can be seen in a documentary, Lost Land of the Tiger, which will be shown in three parts Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on BBC One at 9 p.m.

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