Scramble to save three-legged tiger being hunted by Thai poachers

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Rangers scramble to rescue a three-legged tiger being hunted by Thai poachers as the mutilated animal is seen feeding on a water buffalo in the jungle near the Myanmar border

  • Thai forest rangers start desperate search for three-legged tiger
  • The mutilated animal was spotted in the Khao Laem National Park in Kanchanaburi
  • His missing hind leg was clearly visible as he walked around a buffalo carcass
  • Charity believes animal was victim of poaching near Myanmar border

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Foresters in Thailand have embarked on a desperate search in the jungle for a three-legged tiger being hunted by poachers.

Employees of the conservation organization Freeland saw the animal captured on video earlier this week from a camera trap in Khao Laem National Park in Kanchanaburi province, on the border with Myanmar, as it was feeding on the body of a water buffalo.

His missing hind leg was clearly visible as he walked clumsily around the carcass in the dense forest on Sunday evening.

While it’s not clear how the tiger lost its limb, Freeland suspects the animal was a victim of poaching. The use of bows is common in jungles throughout Southeast Asia.

Foresters in western Thailand have embarked on a desperate search in the jungle for a three-legged tiger being hunted by poachers

Foresters in western Thailand have embarked on a desperate search in the jungle for a three-legged tiger being hunted by poachers

Employees of the conservation organization Freeland spotted the animal on video earlier this week from a camera trap in Khao Laem National Park in Kanchanaburi province, on the border with Myanmar, as it was feeding on the body of a water buffalo.

Employees of the conservation organization Freeland spotted the animal on video earlier this week from a camera trap in Khao Laem National Park in Kanchanaburi province, on the border with Myanmar, as it was feeding on the body of a water buffalo.

Employees of the conservation organization Freeland saw the animal captured on video earlier this week by a camera trap in Khao Laem National Park in Kanchanaburi province on the border with Myanmar as it was feeding on the body of a water buffalo.

Freeland’s experts worry that the slow-moving female — nicknamed “I-Douan,” meaning “the amputee” — is at risk from hunters or starvation because of its likely long-term inability to capture prey.

The charity, which is working with staff from Thailand’s Ministry of National Parks, Nature and Plant Conservation, hopes to subdue the tiger with a tranquilizer dart and move it to a government facility where it can be provided with adequate food and safety.

Freeland-Thailand executive Petcharat Sangchai told The Associated Press: ‘We can find her, not hard to find her.’

His missing hind leg was clearly visible as he walked clumsily around the carcass in the dense forest on Sunday evening.  While it's not clear how the tiger lost the limb, Freeland suspects the animal was a victim of poaching

His missing hind leg was clearly visible as he walked clumsily around the carcass in the dense forest on Sunday evening.  While it's not clear how the tiger lost the limb, Freeland suspects the animal was a victim of poaching

His missing hind leg was clearly visible as he walked clumsily around the carcass in the dense forest on Sunday evening. While it’s not clear how the tiger lost the limb, Freeland suspects the animal was a victim of poaching

“We’ll use the body of the dead buffalo or cow and wait for her to eat the remains, and then we can use the sniper rifle to shoot her.”

In early January, rangers arrested five men in the forest with two tiger carcasses in their possession. Three weeks later, in the same district, a man said he had been attacked by three tigers who had killed his two dogs. He escaped by climbing a clump of bamboo.

Video cameras were installed following reports of tiger activity in an area previously unknown to support the animals.

The Indochinese tiger is endangered throughout its range, with Thailand being home to the largest population. By 2021, Thai wildlife authorities estimate the country’s wild tiger population at 177 individuals.

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