NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s tiger population has grown to nearly 3,000, making the country one of the safest habitats for the endangered animals.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi says it’s a “historic achievement” for India as the big cat’s population had dwindled to 1,400 about 14-15 years ago.
India estimates its tiger population every four years and released the figures for 2018 on Monday. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the tiger population was 2,226 in the last count, in 2014.
The tiger is India’s national animal and it is categorized as endangered under the Wildlife Protection Act.
The human conflict with tigers has gradually increased since the 1970s, when India started a tiger conservation program that carved out sanctuaries in national parks.