Bangladesh is setting up a special force to save the critically endangered Royal Bengal Tiger and other animals.
$36 Million Loan To Protect Tigers
The World Bank has agreed to provide Bangladesh with $36 million under its “World Tiger Action Plan” to save tigers and its natural habitat, said State Minister for Environment Hasan Mahmud, as first reported in The Independent.
The 300-member force will be deployed mostly around the Sundarbans mangrove forests, one of the last refuges of the tigers, which stretch between Bangladesh and India, and are home to around 400 tigers.
Pledge To Deal With Illegal Trafficking
The new force will also tackle a growing trade in the illegal trafficking of wild animals.
From the BBC:
Officials admitted they did not have enough manpower, resources and training to counter the poachers, who they said were using increasingly sophisticated techniques to trap the tigers.
Minister of Environment and Forests Hasan Mahmud said that the setting up of the new wildlife force was long overdue.
“The forest department staff in Bangladesh need more training, because now the poachers are very sophisticated,” he said.
“Their sophistication has been increased but the sophistication of the forest department has not been increased over the last couple of years. So, we have to train them and we have to equip them.”
The arrest of a poacher with a tiger skin and bones has raised the fear of illegal poaching rings. In addition, official recently seized a number of protected wild animals from people who were keeping them illegally.
Hundreds Of Turtles And Crocodiles Smuggled Out Of Bangladesh
Earlier this month, customs officers at Bangkok airport in Thailand found hundreds of freshwater turtles and crocodiles packed in suitcases on a flight from Bangladesh.
All of this activity makes it clear that Bangladesh is doing the right thing by seeking to protect its wild animals. Let’s hope the plan goes into action soon.
New Technology Protects Tigers In India
Photo Credit: DrBartje via Creative Commons