Silent killers claim the life of two critically endangered Sumatran tigers
The bodies of two crippled Sumatran tigers have been found in a production forest in the Mukomuko regency of Bengkulu, on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.
The Head of the Criminal Unit, AKP Welman Feri, told press that the Chief of Mukomuko Police Department, AKBP Andhika Vishnu, had directly observed the tigers’ condition on camera trap recordings owned by PT Sifef Biodiversity Indonesia which is running a restoration project in a nearby forest.
The tigers were both crippled and succumbed to their wounds most likely as a result of struggling to escape the hunters traps.
Local workers claim to have found a number of traps, which they assume were set up to catch tigers within production forests and concessions.
The police have arrested two poachers and dealers and confiscated tiger skin and organs. Other suspects are still under investigation. Mukomuko Police Department will continue their monitoring of the area to prevent any more poaching.
Commenting on the news TigerTime’s Vicky Flynn said: “That any tiger loses its life to poachers is a tragedy but the nature of snares and traps means that these tigers would have struggled, perhaps for days, to free themselves. Both had lost limbs, the pain they would have suffered is unimaginable.
“Patrolling the forests and removing snares and traps forms a key part of our work to protect wildlife. Sadly, these indiscriminate hunting practises mean that every animal is at risk and with reports suggesting that 90% of trapped animals are left to rot these silent killers are taking a heavy toll on wild populations across Africa and Asia.”
Sumatran tigers are the smallest of the remaining tiger sub-species. They are the last of Indonesia’s tigers with an estimated population of c.400. Despite efforts to protect them, deforestation and widespread poaching to service the illegal demand from Asian markets for tiger skins and body parts, means that this critically endangered sub-species could face the same fate as its Javan and Balinese relatives which are now extinct.