CNN’s Mission Tiger spotlights the conservation heroes reversing the threats tigers face

HONG KONG, March 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Against all odds, tiger numbers have increased across the world over the past ten years. The individuals, NGOs and governments working hard to protect and save these magnificent cats proved that the threats they face can be reversed, bringing benefits to wildlife and communities alike. Whether it's patrolling the jungle or caring for rescued cubs, CNN's Mission Tiger spotlights the conservation heroes who are passionate about saving these endangered creatures.

CNN’s Mission Tiger spotlights the conservation heroes reversing the threats tigers face

CNN first travels to the Indonesian island of Sumatra to visit Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation (TWNC). Located on the southern tip of the island, its lush tropical forest and pristine coastline provide a haven for wildlife, including the critically endangered Sumatran tiger. CNN meets the rangers who patrol the forest to protect it from poachers and say they have identified 48 tigers in the reserve through camera trapping since 2012.

With only 400 to 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, TWNC is built on the premise that every tiger counts. As well as protecting the forest where wild tigers live, the organization runs a sanctuary for tigers who have come into conflict with humans. CNN learns the ropes of their tiger rehabilitation programme, which is designed to help rescued animals re-learn the skills they need to survive in the wild, including the natural instinct to hunt prey.

Next, CNN hears from Dr. Kanita Ouitavon. As a young researcher, she realized she could make an important contribution to protecting wildlife in her home country of Thailand. This passion led her to study biological sciences before re-joining the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) where she helped create the country's first wildlife forensic science unit in 2010. Ouitavon and her team perform DNA testing on confiscated illegal wildlife products like tiger parts, which are used in traditional medicine or sold as luxury goods. They provide crucial pieces of information that can be used as evidence in court cases on wildlife crime.

In Malaysia, tigers are a traditional symbol, representing bravery and strength, and even appear on the country's coat of arms. However, less than 150 Malayan tigers are thought to exist in the wild today, due to heavy poaching and habitat loss. In the north of Malaysia, Royal Belum State Park remains one of the last refuges of the critically endangered Malayan tiger. CNN explores this jungle, which is also home to the Jahai people from the indigenous Orang Asli community. RIMAU, an NGO founded by filmmakers, Harun Rahman and Lara Ariffin, has partnered with Perak State Parks Corporation Director Shah Redza Hussein to assemble a team of Jahai patrollers who protect their forest home from poachers. This group of 30 patrollers, named "Menraq," meaning "people" in the Jahai language, remove deadly snare traps and report evidence of poaching to local authorities.

Mission Tiger trailer:  
Mission Tiger images:   

Airtimes for 30-minute special: 

Saturday, 18th March at 11:30pm HKT
Saturday, 25th March at 12:30pm and 6pm HKT
Monday, 27th March at 8:30am HKT

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