If there is one thing that the Internet loves, it is video footage of cats. So, in apparent fidelity to that rule of thumb, the World Wildlife Fund on Monday released footage of endangered Sumatra tigers from motion-sensing cameras positioned in an Indonesian lowland forest that is slated to be chopped down. A total of 12 tigers, including two adult females with cubs, passed in front of the cameras over the two months since the wildlife advocates installed the devices at 30 locations in a flat corridor between the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park and a nearby mountainous area of Sumatra, Indonesia’s largest island.
The cameras caught the vertically striped orange tigers in playful scenes rarely seen by human observers, along with some extreme closeups. Whenever one of the cameras detected a tiger moving within range, it switched on and recorded for 20 seconds, then automatically shut off to conserve battery power. If the movement continued, the camera would switch back on again after about a minute and record another 20 seconds.
This accounts for the clipped quality of the video recording, especially when the two young cubs are seen playing with a leaf for a while. Sumatra tigers face a severe risk of extinction. There are thought to be only about 400 of them in all, and the concentration of so many in the 184-square-mile area studied is a result of the contraction of their forest habitat at man’s hands, said Barney Long, the United States-based manager of the group’s tiger program.
Sumatran Tiger Cubs