HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Interpol has launched a campaign to save the world’s last wild tigers in the 13 Asian countries where they still exist.
The project will link wildlife officials with customs and law enforcement officers to help block tiger smuggling.
Conservation group WWF hailed the program Thursday, a day after it was unveiled at an Interpol meeting in Hanoi. It said ending tiger poaching is the first step in restoring the animal’s global population.
Interpol says poaching and habitat fragmentation have caused Asia’s wild tiger population to decline from about 100,000 in 1900 to fewer than 3,500 today. Tigers do not live in the wild on other continents.