Three critically endangered Sumatran tigers die caught in animal traps | Totally Vegan Buzz
Three critically endangered Sumatran tigers die caught in animal traps
Image: @tom.jones.photography / Instagram

It is estimated that fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild.

Three critically endangered Sumatran tigers have died after being caught in traps on Indonesia’s Sumatra island.

This is the latest blow for a species whose numbers are estimated to have dropped to about several hundreds.

Local authorities found two of the dead tigers with leg injuries caused by a snare trap near a palm oil plantation in East Aceh district of Aceh province.

The body of another female tiger was found about 500 metres away a few hours later with a snare still entrenched in her almost-severed neck and legs.

Police chief Hendra Sukmana said authorities have appealed to the community and plantation companies not to set snares in forest areas where wild animals may get trapped.

Snare traps are commonly used by Sumatran farmers to catch wild boars because the beasts are considered destructive pests destroying foliage. However, poachers have also used snare traps to kill endangered wildlife for commercial purposes.

“We strongly condemned this incident and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies in an investigation,” Agus Arianto, who heads the conservation agency in Aceh told AFP.

Under Indonesia’s Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems law, those who intentionally kill protected animals face up to five years in prison and a fine of 100 million rupiah (US$7,000).

Endangered Sumatran tigers

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, Sumatran tigers are the most critically endangered tiger subspecies. Moreover, their survival is further threatened by poaching and a shrinking jungle habitat.

While the Indonesian forestry ministry states that up to 10 tigers are killed yearly, conservationists say the pandemic has led to increased poaching as a means to supplement diminished incomes.

Tigers are also hunted since their body parts are extremely popular in traditional medicine – particularly in China – despite overwhelming scientific evidence that they have no medicinal value.

 It is estimated that fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild.

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