One adult female Sumatran tiger and two cubs were found dead in Aceh province over the weekend, after the endangered mammals were snared by traps set for boars.
Police and conservation groups were first alerted to the discovery of two dead tigers — one adult and one cub — that were tied up by a trap to a tree in the woods near Sri Mulya village in East Aceh regency.
As authorities searched the area, they found another dead cub snared by another boar trap.
“It was some 500 meters from where we found the first two,” Hendra Sukmana, who heads the nearby Serbajadi Precinct, said.
Separately, East Aceh Police Department Chief Mahmun Hari Sandy Sinurat announced to the press that the first two tigers found had their legs tied up by the boar trap, which consisted of thick, sturdy cables known as slings.
Authorities have not identified those responsible. Under Indonesian law, setting traps to capture wildlife is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
Sadly, Sumatran tigers becoming unintended victims of boar traps is not uncommon. On Sunday, a Sumatran tiger lashed out as rescuers were freeing it from a boar trap. One vet was rushed to hospital after sustaining bite and scratch wounds.
In December 2021, one Sumatran tiger survived getting caught in a boar trap, though she suffered deep cuts throughout her body, including in her abdomen and legs, as she tried to break free.
Sumatran tigers are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
There are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild and environmental activists say they are increasingly coming into conflict with people as their natural habitat is rapidly deforested.