Less than a week after the shocking estimate that there are less than 3,500 tigers left in the wild, there is fresh hope for the beautiful beasts.
A few seconds of film showing tigers roaming wild in the foothills of the Himalayas could provide the 'missing link' to an ambitious plan to try to save the endangered species from extinction.
According to the latest conservation reports there are only 1,000 females of breeding age remaining on the planet - and they could become extinct within 15 years.
The film is the first real evidence that tigers can thrive - and breed - in the hills which are more than 13,000 feet above sea level.
Secret cameras: A male Bengal tiger captured on film for the documentary, Lost Land of the Tiger
It offers hope to conservationists who have developed an ambitious plan to link up isolated tiger populations across Asia with a 'corridor' where they are safe from humans.
A team from the BBC Natural History Unit captured the images using hidden cameras wedged into gullies and trees over six weeks during an expedition to Bhutan.
Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan said he was reduced to tears the first time he saw the footage.
He said: 'It was beyond words, pretty overwhelming.
On the prowl: A tiger walks along a snowy ridge in the foothills of the Himalayas
'We were there about six weeks. For me the whole purpose of the expedition was to film evidence of the tigers living in Bhutan so all the effort and everything we did came down to a few seconds of footage.'
Mr Buchanan said: 'This is such a significant discovery for tiger survival.
'The tigers' behaviour suggests they are breeding and I am convinced that there must now be cubs somewhere on this mountain.
'At current rates tigers will become extinct in around 15 years.
'I have spent a lot of time working with tigers in India and looking for them in Russia and pretty much everywhere they are they face problems.
'Bhutan is a Buddhist country and they don't hunt any wildlife and because the country is so wild poachers would find it very difficult to hunt them there.'
Another member of the team, conservationist Dr Alan Rabinowitz said the discovery took them one step closer to realising the conservation plan.
He said: 'Tigers are thought of as jungle creatures and there is pressure on their habitats from all sides.
'Yet we now know they can live and breed at this altitude which is a safer habitat for them. Bhutan was the missing link in this tiger corridor.'
The team also captured film of the elusive snow leopard.
The footage can be seen in a documentary, Lost Land Of The Tiger, which will be shown in three parts on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on BBC One at 9pm.
Read more: Hope for tigers: How new footage from Himalayas raises hopes for survival of the species | Mail Online