Rare Sumatran tiger found dead in animal trap in Indonesia





PEKANBARU, Indonesia (AP) - A critically endangered Sumatran tiger was found dead after being caught in a trap on Indonesia's Sumatra island, authorities said Monday, in the latest setback for a species whose numbers are estimated to have dwindled to about 400.

The female tiger, aged between 4 and 5 years, was found dead Sunday near Bukit Batu wildlife reserve in the Bengkalis district of Riau province, said Fifin Arfiana Jogasara, the head of Riau's conservation agency.

Jogasara said an examination determined the tiger died from dehydration five days after being caught in the snare trap, apparently set by a poacher, which broke one of its legs.

She said her agency will cooperate with law enforcement agencies in an investigation.

Sumatran tigers, the most critically endangered tiger subspecies, are under increasing pressure due to poaching as their jungle habitat shrinks, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It estimated fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild.

It was the latest killing of endangered animals on Sumatra island. Conservationists say the coronavirus pandemic has led to increased poaching as villagers turn to hunting for economic reasons.

Three Sumatran tigers, including two cubs, were found dead in late August after being caught in traps in the Leuser Ecosystem Area, a region for tiger conservation in Aceh province.

In early July, a female tiger was found dead with injuries caused by a snare trap in South Aceh district.

An elephant was found without its head on July 11 in a palm plantation in East Aceh. Police arrested a suspected poacher along with four people accused of buying ivory from the dead animal.

Aceh police also arrested four men in June for allegedly catching a tiger with a snare trap and selling its remains for 100 million rupiah ($6,900). Days later, another Sumatran tiger died after it ate a goat laced with rat poison in neighboring North Sumatra province.

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