Calls for forest closure to boost tiger numbers
Wichien Chinnawong, chief of the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary in Kanchanaburi, plans to propose that the Department of National Park Wildlife and Plant Conservation close the Thung Yai forest for six months during the rainy season.
He said 12 tigers had been seen on trap cameras in the forest, suggesting it was highly fertile. To help natural resources to flourish, Wichien said he would ask the department to close Thung Yai forest.
The plan followed a 30-minute video by a teacher, Supranee Panasuksan, that showed a Karen woman, identified as Po-che, and her husband meeting a tiger on a path.
They were near their village in Tambon Lai Wo, Sangkhla Buri district. The couple abandoned their motorcycle and climbed a tree although the tiger was not hostile.
The tiger circled the spot where they left the motorcycle and rolled on the ground before leaving.
Wichien said it was rare for people to see a wild tiger, which would normally avoid people.
He dismissed claims it was from the closed Wat Pha Luangta Bua Yannasampanno, which famously kept tigers, after being released to Thung Yai.
“The tiger in this video clip is a wild tiger,” he said. The sanctuary chief claimed a tame tiger would not be able to survive in the wild as it would not be able to hunt.
Wichien refused to give details of where the incident took place out of fears it would attract poachers.