Two stuffed tigers seized from soldiers
An Indonesian military tribunal has jailed two soldiers for illegally possessing two stuffed Sumatran tigers and a stuffed bear. Chief Sergeant Joko Rianto was given a two-month jail term and a £280 fine, with Chief Private Rawali receiving a three-month sentence and a £140 fine.
The sentence may be weak but this does show a willingness from the Indonesian authorities to crack down on the illegal wildlife trade and carry investigations through to conviction.
“Rawali and Joko Rianto have been found legitimately and convincingly guilty of illegally possessing dead protected animals,” said Judge Lieutenant Colonel Budi Purnomo.
Rianto argued he had purchased the critically-endangered tiger to use its teeth to cure his sick wife. Sadly, this is a frequent occurrence with an increasing international trade in tiger parts for use in curing human ailments through traditional medicine in Asia. No tiger parts have ever been scientifically proven to cure a human illness, yet the trade remains.
The Sumatran tiger is critically endangered with an estimated 400 still alive in the wild. Deforestation for palm oil plantations and increasing poaching is devastating the wild population.
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