The presence of more than a dozen Royal Bengal tigers has been confirmed by wildlife conservation officials at adjacent national parks in the Himalayan foothills of India and Bhutan.
Camera traps photographed 14 of the animals - six of them tigresses - in core habitat areas of Bhutan's Royal Manas National Park and the Manas National Park in Assam, India.
Popular with tourists on trekking holidays, Manas National Park is also home to elephants, turtles, pygmy hogs and wild water buffalo.
Officials said each tiger had been carefully identified by examining the distinctive stripes on their flanks, limbs, tail and forequarters to avoid double counting. They said the total represented a significant move towards the commitment, made by 13 'tiger nations' to double the number of tigers by 2020. The world's tiger population is currently estimated at about 3,500.
Tenzin Wangchuk, manager of the Royal Manas National Park, said the identification of eight tigers and six tigresses boded well for the population's breeding prospects.
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