Bengal Tiger Preserve Loses Its Last Tiger


Stefan Caiafa writes for Intelligent Travel of coming face to face with one of the last Bengal tigers in India’s Panna National Park—a popular tourist destination and tiger reserve—and of a report from the BBC that no tigers remain in the park.

The Indian government’s Ministry of Tourism recognized Panna in 2007 as the country’s “Best Maintained Tourist Friendly National Park.” According to the park’s official website, “Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), the king of the jungle, roams freely in this secure, though a bit small habitat.”

Nevertheless, it appears that poaching and other pressures on the species have eradicated Panna’s Bengal tigers. The news comes against the backdrop of a sharp decline in India’s wild tiger population, from more than 3,600 in a 2002 census to fewer than 1,500 today.

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Photograph by Stefan Caiafa