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Last Updated: Monday August 22 2005 11:02 GMT

Bengal tigers get help in India

Bengal tiger
The Indian government has set up a task force to protect Bengal tigers, which are falling in numbers there.

Experts think there are only 2,000 of the animals left in the country, as they are hunted by poachers for their skins and for traditional medicines.

The task force is setting up a special wildlife crime office, and finding new ways of using tourism to help protect the tigers - India's national animal.

The force will also look at better ways of counting the tiger population.

They will have more to contend with than just criminals too.

One of the main problems is local villagers who live in the same area as the tigers.

The villagers often disagree with the wildlife authorities about the way the tigers are protected, as they feel their needs aren't being thought about in the same way as the animals'.

It's hoped the new task force members will talk to locals more and let them have a say in what is done, and how it might affect them.

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