TEMPO.CO, Pekanbaru, Riau - Riau Province's Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) confirmed the accuracy of a photo circulated by a local resident on Wednesday depicting the death of a Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) in Siak District.
The carcass of this female tiger, with a sling tied around her neck, was found lying in a bush some 45 meters away from the Industrial Timber Plantation (HTI) concession area of PT Seraya Sumber Lestari, the agency's head, Heru Sukmantoro, stated.
Sukmantoro noted that the tiger's death was attributed to the sling around her neck, adding that BKSDA's veterinary team members estimated this ill-fated endangered animal to be aged between eight and nine years.
The carcass of the tiger, believed to have died 10 days back, was buried in a safe area in Siak District, Sukmantoro remarked.
In May this year, another Sumatran tiger was found dead owing to the traps of poachers inside PT Arara Abadi's HTI concession area located alongside that of PT Seraya Sumber Lestari, he stated.
ANTARA noted that in Indonesia, Sumatran tigers were the only surviving tiger species, as the country had already lost two sub-species of tigers to extinction: the Bali tiger that became extinct in 1937 and the Javan tiger in the 1970s.
Sumatran tigers, the smallest of all tigers, are currently a critically endangered species only found on Sumatra Island, Indonesia’s second-largest island.
The tigers are on the brink of extinction owing to deforestation, poaching, and conflicts between wild animals and local people owing to their dwindling habitats.
The exact figure of Sumatran tigers left in the wild is ambiguous, though the latest estimates range, from under 300 to possibly 500 at 27 locations, including in the Kerinci Seblat National Park, Tesso Nilo Park, and Gunung Leuser National Park.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), their numbers have decreased, from about one thousand in the 1970s.
The 2009 report by the forestry ministry points to conflicts with humans beings being the biggest threat to conservation. The report cited that on an average, five to 10 Sumatran tigers were killed annually since 1998.