Rizal Harahap, Pekanbaru – A protected Sumatran tiger was found rotting last week in a forest in Siak regency, Riau. A wire snare was found around its neck.
Sources said a palm oil plantation worker found the carcass on Aug. 27. He reported the discovery to his neighborhood unit head, and on Saturday, the information was forwarded to the Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA).
However, the information was not publicly available until Wednesday, when a photo of the tiger lying dead in the snare circulated on social media.
The Riau BKSDA declined, at first, to give an official statement on the tiger's death, saying that such publicity would threaten other Sumatran tigers and disturb the agency's efforts to save them.
"We should understand that publication [of the incident] could lead to a high level of threat to the tigers. Frankly, the results of our monitoring show that hunting has worsened," Riau BKSDA official Heru Sutmantoro told reporters on Wednesday.
However, Heru later provided more details. He said the tiger had been autopsied by the Riau BKSDA team before its burial.
"The tiger was an adult female, aged about 8 to 10 years. She died of respiratory failure because of the wire that entangled her neck," he said.
Field analysis suggested that the tiger was ensnared in a different location from where it was found and that it had died about 10 days ago.
He added that companies that held land concessions nearby were responsible for protecting endangered species in the area. He hoped they would remove the snares installed near their working areas. (syk)