A BBC film crew has photographed Bengal tigers, including a mating pair, living far higher than the great cats have been documented before. Camera traps captured images and videos of tigers living 4,000 meters (over 13,000 feet) in the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan.
The discovery is particularly surprising as most tigers inhabit forests, where as these cats were surviving above the tree line.
Bengal tigers, one of five surviving subspecies, are also found in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Bhutan is thought to have less than 100 tigers, however the new discovery of viable tiger habitat may change the estimate.
Classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List, tigers are threatened by habitat loss and poaching for thief body parts which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Although benefactors of some of the world’s most intensive conservation attention, tiger populations continue to drop.
A special BBC program on the discovery, Lost Land of the Tiger, will air on BBC One.
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