Conservation news

Sumatran tiger found dead in a pig trap

Officers from Indonesia’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency carry a dead tiger in West Sumatra. Two of the critically endangered creatures have turned up dead in the province this year. Photo: BKSDA West Sumatra

Authorities in the Indonesian province of West Sumatra buried the rotting carcass of a female tiger that died after being ensnared by a pig trap on a rubber plantation earlier this month.

The tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), a critically endangered species, was found covered in wounds, its neck entangled in wire.

The tiger’s death was reported to the local Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and the Kerinci Seblat National Park authorities, a joint task force of which evacuated the body and buried it behind the BKSDA office in Padang, the provincial capital.

The creature was estimated to be 10 years old, Zulmi Gusrul, head of the task force, told Mongabay-Indonesia at his office on Monday.

A month before the tiger’s death, Zulmi said, the BKSDA had informed residents of the presence of tigers in the area and urged them not to set traps. Three tigers had been spotted, and it was suspected that the mother was teaching her young to hunt.

“If people find tiger traces, like scratches on trees, they should immediately coordinate with the [provincial] Forestry Office or the BKSDA, and then make sounds by banging cans, tins and other objects at the location and keep their livestock from grazing there,” Zulmi advised.

The BKSDA has undertaken to destroy a variety of animal traps in the area’s forests, Zulmi added.

A Sumatran tiger is buried in Padang, the capital of Indonesia’s West Sumatra province. Photo: BKSDA West Sumatra

Salpa Yandri, director of the Institution Conservation Society (ICS), said the BKSDA needed to continue educate citizens about dealing with wild tigers, an endeavor in which the ICS is already assisting the BKSDA.

At least two female tigers have died in West Sumatra this year. The first was found dead in the city of Bukitinggi in January.

Produced in English by Philip Jacobson.