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Last Updated: Monday September 20 2010 12:16 GMT

Rare population of tigers found

One of the tigers spotted living in the Himalayas

Tigers found on highest mountains

A BBC camera team has captured amazing footage of tigers living high up in the Himalayas.

The discovery has stunned experts - because they never knew tigers could live so high up and breed successfully.

Tiger expert Dr Alan Rabinowitz decided to investigate after villagers living in the Himalayas suggested tigers were living at a high altitude.

It's hoped the discovery will help with plans to save the big cats from becoming extinct.

One plan is to set up a nature reserve around the tigers to try to connect the different populations across Asia.

Camera traps

Dr Rabinowitz got the help of BBC wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan to capture the footage.

They trekked into the mountains and set up a load of cameras that automatically started filming as animals moved in front of them.

The cameras were left in place for three months and as well as tigers, filmed red foxes, jungle cats, monkeys, leopards, and even a red panda.

The Himalayas is the only place on Earth known to have tigers, leopards and snow leopards all sharing the same valley.

Wild tigers

Mr Buchanan said the behaviour of the male and female tigers they filmed suggested they were living in their own territory, and not just passing through.

"The fact they can live here is just so important, for tigers in the wild, for their future," he said.

The tigers' exact location hasn't been revealed to try to prevent them being found by poachers.

The footage was captured as part of a programme called The Lost Land of the Tiger, which will be shown this week on BBC One.