India's tiger populations have been plummeting in recent years from poaching and habitat loss, but recent photographic evidence suggests that conservationists' efforts there just might be paying off. For the very first time, an endangered Bengal tiger has been documented using an experimental wildlife corridor intended to connect two otherwise cut-off wildlife preserves in northern India.
The unique scene above, the first of its kind, shows a healthy Bengal tiger taking advantage of a protected strip of land set aside to bridge the gap between the Corbett Tiger Reserve and Ramnagar Forest Division across the river Kosi without the threat of human disturbance.
While the implementation of such wildlife corridors had yet to be proved effective in securing the migration of endangered wildlife in northern India, a team from WWF-India were fortunate enough to witness it in action first hand, reports Mother Nature Network:
Project officer Debmalya Roy Chowdhury was walking along the river with two colleagues, Chandar Singh Neg and Tara Thaplial, when they reached one of the camera traps that was part of the Kosi Corridor Monitoring Study.
"Just after crossing the river bed, Tara screamed out “Sir, tiger-tiger!” I looked up. How I felt at the moment is very hard to describe in words. There was a huge, mature male tiger walking along the river bed in that broad daylight attempting to move into the Corbett Tiger Reserve," Chowdhury said in a WWF statement.
"This was the most memorable on-foot sighting of a tiger I have ever had in my life — and it is probably the best direct evidence we have to document how well the River Kosi corridor is working," added Chowdhury.