Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Three critically endangered Sumatran tigers, including two cubs, were found dead in a conservation area on Indonesia’s Sumatra island after being caught in traps apparently set by a poacher, authorities said Friday.
The mother and a female cub were found dead Tuesday in the Leuser Ecosystem Area, a forested region for tiger conservation in Aceh province, said Agus Arianto, head of the conservation agency. The body of a male cub was found on Thursday about 15 feet away, he said.
An examination determined they died from infected wounds caused by traps, Arianto said. He said several traps similar to ones used to capture wild pigs on farms were found in the area of the bodies.
“Setting traps for pigs in a conservation area is very unlikely,” Arianto said, “This was intended to poach endangered animals for economic gain.” He said his 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.—AP