Animal Rights

Tigers Found at Record-High Altitude in Himalayas

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Over the past century, the number of tigers in the world has plummeted from 100,000 to just 3,200. But now there is hope for the dwindling tiger population with the apparent discovery of a "lost" group of beautiful black-and-orange beasts.

Because of anecdotal evidence that tigers were living at high altitude in the Himalayan nation of Bhutan. So a documentary crew from the BBC set up cameras all over the area. Sure enough, they picked up tigers roaming the area at an elevation of 13,450 feet -- the highest altitude even found containing tigers. 

"Tigers are thought of as jungle creatures and there is pressure on their habitats from all sides. Yet we now know they can live and breed at this altitude which is a safer habitat for them," said tiger expert and conservationist Alan Rabinowitz, who led the expedition.

Rabinowitz said the discovery would boost an ambitious plan for a "corridor" across Asia where tiger populations are safe from humans. "Bhutan was the missing link in this tiger corridor," he said.

BBC cameraman Gordon Buchanan said the video shows a female tiger lactating, suggesting they are breeding. He said he was "convinced that there must now be cubs somewhere on this mountain."

He added, "This is such a significant discovery for tiger survival. The fact they can live here is just so important, for tigers in the wild, for their future."