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Pigs to Save Tibetan Yaks from Bengal Tigers

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/09/29; September 29, 2001.]

Beijing - September 28 2001 (Indpendent Online) - Scientists in southwest China's Tibet region plan to spend 5 million yuan (about R5,3-million) to develop pig farms in order to feed a rare group of Bengal tigers that have preyed on Tibetan yak herds, state media said on Friday.

At least 20 Bengal tigers live in Tibet at altitudes of more than 4 000m on the southern slopes of the Himalayas, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The tigers feed on domesticated yak herds in remote Medog county and other areas of southeastern Tibet, which borders eastern India and Myanmar (Burma), the agency said.

The county will ban hunting and encourage local herders to drive the tigers into higher mountains, where the government will provide food from the pig farms, Wang Wei of the State Forestry Bureau told the agency.

The efforts will be part of a long-term protection programme for the tigers, Wang said.

Bengal tigers are an endangered species found mainly in mangrove forests in eastern India and Bangladesh, and sometimes in parts of Myanmar and Nepal.

Experts estimate that about 3 000 to 4 500 Bengal tigers remain in the wild. - Sapa-DPA


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