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SAVING THE BIG CAT: This 2008 file photograph shows Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (left), assisted by a Russian scientist, fixing a GPS-Argos satellite transmitter to a tiger during his visit to the Ussuriysky forest reserve.
Global wildlife experts and politicians from 13 countries are meeting in Russia to discuss plans to revive the world's tiger population that has shrunk to a dangerously low level.
The World Wildlife Fund and other experts say only about 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, a dramatic plunge from an estimated 1,00,000 a century ago. Their habitat is being destroyed by forest cutting and construction, and they are a trophy for poachers who want their skin and body parts prized in traditional medicine.
The four-day summit that opened on November 21 is being hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who has adroitly used encounters with tigers and other wildlife to bolster his image. It plans to approve a wide-ranging programme aimed at doubling the world's tiger population in the wild by 2022.— AP
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