Filmed by Michael Peel. Produced by Tom Griggs. Edited by Paolo Pascual. Additional footage from Reuters and DNP-Freeland.
Mainland southeast Asia's last tigers are breeding in a rare piece of good news for a region where the world's biggest cat has been wiped out of most of its far reaching domain. Some of these pictures, shot on remote cameras with motion sensors, show tigers with their young, something that has rarely been seen here in Thailand in the past decade.
Tree mounted cameras like these scattered across Thailand's great eastern and western forests have delivered the best evidence for years that the country's tigers are breeding. This is good news for the Indochinese tiger after decades of poaching and destruction of its mainland southeast Asian habitat. But a threat still looms from criminal gangs who serve a thriving regional market and supposedly medicinal big cat parts. The Indochinese tiger once ranged from Myanmar's jungles to the Indonesian archipelago but has now disappeared from all but a few forest enclaves.
Now an international project has scattered video and still cameras deep in the jungles of Thailand to capture evidence of tiger activity there. The devices use hard shells to protect them from elephants and chalk to keep away ants. They also have electronic encryption to make them useless to poachers. Although that isn't always a total deterrent.
Well we lost one here. All that's left is that little bit of sling. Every so often they get stolen like this, when poachers pass by maybe carrying some rosewood or something like that. It's not often, but it happens. You just have to live with it.
Images like these of this magnificent creature are encouraging as are the signs that they are reproducing. But conservationists warn that the battle to keep tigers alive in their historic southeast Asian homeland is still a fight against the odds. Michael Peel, Financial Times, eastern Thailand.