*** ----> India plans ‘historic’ tiger transfer to Cambodia this year | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

India plans ‘historic’ tiger transfer to Cambodia this year

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

India will send four tigers to Cambodia this year in a “historic” bid to revive the kingdom’s big cat population, Delhi’s ambassador said yesterday. Cambodia’s dry forests were once home to scores of Indochinese tigers but conservationists say intensive poaching of both tigers and their prey has devastated their numbers.

The last sighting of a tiger in the Southeast Asian kingdom was from a camera trap in 2007 and the cats were declared “functionally extinct” in Cambodia in 2016. The new arrivals will be sent to a 90-hectare (222-acre) forest inside a wildlife sanctuary in the Cardamom rainforest to acclimatise to their new home before being released into the wild, according to officials.

Officials in February installed more than 400 cameras at one-kilometer intervals in the reserve in the Cardamom Mountains to monitor wildlife, particularly animals that tigers prey upon, such as deer and boar.

Before sending the tigers one male and three females  India wants to ensure there is sufficient prey and no possibility of poaching, said Indian ambassador Devyani Khobragade. As soon as data on the prey arrives and the monsoon season eases, “we should have these tigers”, she told reporters in Phnom Penh.