3 Endangered Sumatran Tigers Die in Traps

They represent almost 1% of the estimated population
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2022 10:20 AM CDT
3 Endangered Sumatran Tigers Die in Traps
Officers on Sunday put police line around the carcasses of two of three Sumatran tigers found dead after being caught in traps near a palm oil plantation in East Aceh.   (AP Photo, East Aceh Police via AP)

(Newser) – Three endangered Sumatran tigers have been found dead, dealing a blow to a population thought to number around 400. Conservation officials discovered the bodies of a male and female tiger, whose legs were ensnared in a trap, in Aceh, at the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island, on Sunday. They alerted police, who found the body of a third tiger, a female, about 1,600 feet from the others, near a palm oil plantation. Its feet were also ensnared. "Our initial suspicion is that the tigers died after being caught by a boar trap, because when we found them their feet were ensnared by thick steel sling," local police chief Hendra Sukmana said in a statement, per AFP.

Palm oil plantations and illegal logging have reduced the natural habitat of what's now "the most critically endangered tiger species in the world," per the Guardian. Authorities have urged such companies and other residents to avoid using traps in forested areas that remain home to tigers. One was also found dead in a trap last October. "If the tests reveal there's intentional action that caused the deaths of these protected species, we will take strict action," Agus Arianto, head of Aceh's conservation agency, tells AFP. Under Indonesian law, the intentional killing of a protected animal can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of nearly $7,000. (Read more Sumatran tiger stories.)

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