The tiger population in India maybe rising, but so is poaching, claims the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI).
According to a recently released quarterly poaching toll data, dismally, more tigers have already been poached in the year 2016 as compared to the whole of 2015.
This questions the poaching prevention efforts carried out by the country and calls for more stringent anti-poaching laws to be enforced.
In 2015, taking the entire year into account, 25 of the endangered beasts had been poached or seized, whereas in 2016, up till April, at least 28 tigers have already been poached.
Poaching seems to have taken a drastic turn and is stealthily on the rise.
"Poaching can only be stopped when we have coordinated, intelligence-led enforcement operations, because citizens of many countries are involved in illegal wildlife trade. It's a transnational organized crime," said Tito Joseph, program manager at WPSI.
It is quite disheartening to know that to kill the tigers, poachers use gruesome ways such as guns, poison, steel traps and even electrocution methods.
Tigers are considered a critically endangered species, and more than half of the world's tiger population is apparently prowling about in India, where their habitat is being threatened by poaching and other factors.
In terms of tiger count, the number of tigers in India was estimated to be more than 2,200 in the year 2014, making India the country with the largest population of big cats.
The worldwide population of these wild beasts has been estimated to be around 3,890 in 2016, according to the recently released report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Tiger Forum.
However, once upon a time, around the year 1900, there were more than 100,000 big cats roaming in the wild. Compared to that, the present figures are dismissible.
Tigers have been classified as a nearly extinct species worldwide by the WWF, and varied plans to repopulate the world's forests with these beautiful creatures are underway.
In 2012, a project that aimed at doubling the number of tigers the world over was initiated. A total of 13 countries that included India are part of this project called Tx2. The nations intend to significantly increase the number of tigers in their respective countries by the year 2022.
2022 is interestingly the next Chinese year of the tiger.
Photo: Mathias Appel | Flickr