Royal Bengal tigers have been under threat from habitat destruction, illegal trade for body parts, natural calamities and angry villagers, but their cubs are now facing a new danger — poachers.
Three frail tiger cubs lying in an iron cage in a Dhaka zoo are the first live cubs to be recovered from poachers, who had planned to smuggle the animals out of the country.
“(Tigers) come out of the woods in search of food in the villages, and often get caught and killed,” said a forest ranger in the Sundarbans mangrove forest in Bangladesh, who asked not to be identified.
“Now, the poachers have expanded their illegal trade by catching and smuggling cubs that are easier to trap and safer to move away.”
There are an estimated 300 to 500 majestic Royal Bengal tigers in the 10,000 square km (6,213