Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi joins Bear Grylls to raise awareness about Tigers
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 released the tiger count for 2018 on Monday and said it's a 'historic achievement' for India, whose big cat population had dwindled to 1,400 about 14 to 15 years ago.
The figures come as Modi teamed up with British TV adventurer Bear Grylls to go on safari into India's wilderness to raise awareness about protecting nature.
India is struggling to protect its environment and its wildlife, as an already huge and fast growing population puts ever more pressure on its wild spaces.
Authorities estimate India's tiger population every four years. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the tiger population was 2,226 in the last count, in 2014 - a rise of more than 30 per cent.
The tiger is India's national animal and is categorised 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 and made it a crime to kill them.
Presenter Grylls, star of survival show 'Man vs. Wild' on the Discovery Channel, took the PM on a journey into the Indian wilderness in a programme yet to be aired.
'People across 180 countries will get to see the unknown side of PM @narendramodi as he ventures into Indian wilderness to create awareness about animal conservation & environmental change', he said on Twitter.
A trailer for the programme shows Modi, 68, driving into the Jim Corbett National Park in northern India guided by Grylls, with images of a tiger, a herd of elephants and deer running in the distance.
Grylls did a similar show with then US president Barack Obama in Alaska in 2016. 'You are the most important person in India, it's my job to protect you,' Grylls tells Modi.