So far, 2015 has already been a great year for the tiger, one of the world's most charismatic and critically endangered species. In January, India - estimated to be home for around 70 percent of the world's wild tigers - announced a 30 percent increase in its tiger population over the last five years. It seems that the country's efforts to streamline its conservation efforts are now starting to pay dividends. As someone who has been extremely privileged to hear a wild tiger's roar echo through an Indian forest, I (like many others) hope that this is just the beginning of a full recovery for this enigmatic species.
As we enter February, there is even more good news to celebrate, this time for captive tigers. Thai authorities recently confirmed that they have impounded more than 100 tigers at the infamous 'Tiger Temple' in Thailand's western Kanchanaburi province. This controversial tourist attraction has been linked to reports of animal cruelty and engagement in illegal wildlife trade activity, repeatedly over the last ten years. In fact, it has been in the spot light ever since I first started working on wildlife issues. Yet it was only late last year that I had the opportunity to visit and observe a tiger temple in Chiang Mai myself.