Dave Salmoni recently stopped by the PEOPLE Now studios to talk up Project CAT

By Kate Hogan
July 24, 2018 03:41 PM

In 2010, there were less than 3,500 tigers remaining in the wild. But there is finally some good news for these majestic beasts: for the first time ever, their numbers are increasing.

On Tuesday, animal expert Dave Salmoni popped into the PEOPLE Now studios — with an adorable sidekick, 2-month-old baby tiger Olive — to talk about work being done by Project CAT in Asia to save tigers ahead of Global Tiger Day, July 29.

“We almost lost the tigers all together,” he said, citing the competition with humans for land and food in the areas of Asia in which both species live. The “conservation plan” involves trying to figure out what tigers need — and also what people need to coexist with them.

Project CAT, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, is aiming to double the tiger population by the year 2022. “It’s a big, big project,” Salmoni said. But “with any species, everybody has a skill — research the animal, the people getting involved, the way you want to get involved and what your skills might do to help.”

For more on Project CAT, watch the clip above and visit projectcat.discovery.com.