Jakarta – A Sumatran tiger has been found dead in a suspected poisoning, an Indonesian official said Tuesday, a day after alleged poachers were charged with killing another of the critically endangered big cats in a separate case.
The buried carcass of a male tiger was uncovered in North Sumatra's Batang Gadis national park following a tip off, according to park authorities, who said some of the creature's pelt as well as organs were missing.
"Our preliminary conclusion is that the tiger was poisoned," park spokesman Bobby Nopandry told AFP.
Locals, including a village head, said the poisoning was orchestrated by farmers who were angry the tiger had killed their livestock, he added.
Human-animal conflicts are common in the Southeast Asian archipelago – especially in areas where the clearing of rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations is destroying natural habitats.
In the past year Sumatra has seen a spate of fatal tiger attacks on humans.
Indonesia is also battling rampant poaching, which accounts for almost all Sumatran tiger deaths, according to TRAFFIC, a global wildlife trade monitoring network.
On Monday police in Sumatra's Aceh province said they had arrested four suspected traffickers for killing a Sumatran tiger and attempting to sell its body parts.
Sumatran tigers are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 400 believed to remain in the wild.
Tiger parts are widely used in traditional medicine – particularly in China – despite overwhelming scientific evidence they have no beneficial value.