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Last Updated: Wednesday February 13 2008 12:32 GMT

Big budget plan to save the tiger

A Bengal Tiger

A big budget plan to save tigers from extinction in India has been unveiled by the country's government.

There are now around 1,411 tigers in India - fewer than half the number living there five years ago.

In a 80m plan, the government is setting up new parks for the animals, and will get retired soldiers to work in them to keep the animals safe.

There are also big concerns about tigers in Sumatra, Indonesia - where only 400 to 500 of the beasts are left.

Sumatran tigers are some of the most endangered in the world. They are at threat because people think parts of them can be used to make medicine.

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A white tiger
Even though it is illegal in Sumatra to sell tiger products, a British survey there in 2006 found 23 tigers had been killed to make things that were later sold in shops.

Danger

Destroying the places tigers like to live, and people killing tigers because they think they're a danger to them are other reasons why the animals are dying out.

Across Asia there are now 3,500 tigers, compared to around 5,000 in 1997.

It will take the Indian government five years to set up the new parks, also called reserves.



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