JAKARTA, Indonesia — Park rangers in Indonesia may have spotted an animal thought to live only in folklore and history books: a Javan tiger, declared extinct more than 40 years ago.
Rangers at Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java last month photographed a big cat unlike any previously seen in the preserve. The pictures, released this week, set off a flurry of speculation that one of Indonesia’s legendary species was still alive, and offered a rare bit of positive environmental news to a country in which natural places are being destroyed at an alarming rate.
“This used to be Javan tiger habitat,” Mamat Rahmat, the head of conservation at the park, told the local news media. “We hope that they’re still there.”
The photograph, which circulated across social media, prompted the World Wildlife Fund to support an expedition in search of the supposed tiger.
Despite the rangers’ excitement, some conservationists were skeptical that …
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