A video camera placed by the World Wildlife Association deep in Indonesia's Sumatran Jungle recently managed to capture the first known pictures of rare Sumatran tigers roaming in the wild.
The video that shows two cubs and their mother, sniffing curiously at the camera, before moving on, was taken by one of four cameras placed along tiger routes set up to allow the wild cats to move freely between two tiger protection areas - The Rimbang Baling Wildlife Reserve and Bukit Tigapuluh National Park.
The cameras, which are triggered by body heat, have been there for over five years to help monitor the population of the tigers and to figure out what routes they use to travel in the dense jungle in order to protect them, as much as possible.
However, they used to be still cameras, and while the officials did get some pictures in 2009, they were so blurry that they decided to replace them with video cameras - And it sure has paid off!
The Sumatran tiger is the smallest member of the tiger family and can be found in the wild, only on the island of Sumatra, in Western Indonesia. Their strips are closer placed and the male tigers sport a bigger mane than other tigers. Thanks to the webbing between their toes, they are fast swimmers, and are known to chase and catch prey in the water. They largely feed on ungulates like Malaysian Tapirs, Wild Boars and deer.
While they once roamed the jungles of Sumatra in large numbers, over the years, their numbers have declined drastically, thanks to deforestationand poaching.
World Wildlife Officials estimate that there are currently only 400 of the species left in the wild, down from over a 1000 in the 1970's and, the numbers are decreasing daily. They are therefore trying to do everything they can to save this beautiful species of wild cats, before they become completely extinct - We hope they succeed!