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Awareness to save tigers in Sundarbans urged

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Wildlife experts on Saturday called for raising awareness among the people living in the Sundarbans to save tigers in the world's largest mangrove forest."Tigers frequently enter the locality in the Indian part of the Sundarbans, but there is no record of killing tigers there…people in our country kill tigers for lack of trust," said Prof Anwarul Islam, chief executive of Wildteam, at the working session on environment at the UNB District Correspondents' Conference at its office here on Saturday.He said, people never give importance to the national resources and kill wildlife, including tiger, to protect their domestic animals from the attack of wild animals.Showing historical evidence of tiger's existence in the land, Prof Anwarul Islam said once tigers were everywhere in the country even in Dhaka. "Now tigers have taken shelter in the Sundarbans after losing their habitats."He said, the food and habitats of tigers must be protected aiming to save tiger population in the planet."Currently about 300-500 Bengal tigers are living in the Sundarbans.  You will never find any such forest across the world where so many tigers live in a single forest," the wildlife expert said.About the state of the country's wild animals, Prof Anwarul Islam, a teacher of Zoology Department of Dhaka University, said there are 1,600 species of vertebral animals in Bangladesh while about 50 percent of them are endangered.Indian forest expert Dr Ram Sharma said if tigers could be protected in the Sundarbans, all animals will be protected in the forest. He stressed the need for mobilizing local communities to achieve positive social change to save tigers in the Sundarbans and bring benefits to the villagers who live in the forest.Dr Ram said villagers who live near the Sundarbans must be empowered to save the lives of humans, livestocks, and tigers by providing practical support in safety training and community monitoring."Wildlife trafficking has to be resisted and the livelihood of local communities should be improved to save wildlife in the Sundarbans," he said. UNB chairman Amanullah Khan, its editor-in-chief and chief executive Enayetullah Khan and Buet Professor Dr M Tamim were, among others, were present on the occasion.

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