BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) – Three endangered Sumatran tigers, including two juveniles, were found dead in a wildlife sanctuary on the Indonesian island of Sumatra after being caught in traps that appear to have been set by a poacher, the company said Authorities on Friday.
The mother and a female cub were found dead Tuesday in the Leuser Ecosystem Area, a forested tiger protection region in Aceh province, said Agus Arianto, head of the conservation agency. A male boy’s body was found about 5 meters away on Thursday, he said.
An investigation found they died from infected wounds caused by traps, Arianto said.
He said several traps similar to those used to trap wild boar on farms were found in the area of the bodies.
“Setting traps for pigs in a wildlife sanctuary is very unlikely,” said Arianto, “to poach endangered animals for economic reasons.” He said his agency would work with law enforcement in an investigation.
Sumatran tigers, the most critically endangered tiger subspecies, are under increasing pressure from poaching as their jungle habitats shrink, according to the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. It is estimated that fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers still live in the wild.
It was the latest in a series of endangered animal killings on the island of Sumatra. Conservationists have warned that the coronavirus pandemic has increased poaching as villagers turn to hunting for economic reasons.
Earlier last month, a tigress was found dead in South Aceh district, injured by a snare trap.
On July 11, a headless elephant was found on a palm plantation in East Aceh. Police arrested a suspected poacher along with four people who were accused of buying ivory taken from the dead animal.
Aceh police also arrested four men in June for allegedly poaching a tiger with a snare trap and selling its remains for 100 million rupiah (US $ 6,900). Days later, another Sumatran tiger died after eating a rat poisoned goat in the neighboring province of North Sumatra.
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