Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA) - The Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) has released a female Sumatran tiger into Sangir village's protected forest in Gayo Lues district, a government official has informed.

The released tiger was named "Siti Mulye Putri Reuko" by locals to show their commitment to protecting tigers and other endangered animals, the agency's head, Agus Arianto, said here on Wednesday.

The Sumatran tiger (Pantera tigris sumatrae) had been rescued from a wire trap that had injured its left leg and then evacuated to Blangkejeren, the district capital, for treatment.

"Siti" received medical treatment for two months and after making a complete recovery, she was released into Sangir village's protected forest on October 18, 2022, he informed.

The BKSDA decided to release the female tiger into the protected forest after listening to local residents' suggestions, he said, adding that locals believe that the tiger belongs to the forest.

According to Arianto, his agency's mitigation efforts to protect endangered animals need to be supported by the active participation of both regional government and community members.

"We do appreciate the residents of Gayo Lues and district government for their support in rescuing Siti Mulye Putri Reuko," he added.

Cases related to Sumatran tigers getting ensnared in wire traps have frequently been reported in several parts of Aceh province.

In April this year, two Sumatran tigers were found dead after getting caught in a wire trap in the woods of Sri Mulya village, Peunaron sub-district, East Aceh district.

On August 26, 2021, three Sumatran tigers that were native to the island of Sumatra were also found dead in Ie Buboh village, Meukek sub-district, South Aceh district.

The Sumatran tigers, including two 10-month-old cubs, were found dead after they were caught in wild boar traps that a poacher had set inside a conservation area.

ANTARA has earlier reported that in Indonesia, Sumatran tigers are the only surviving tiger species as the country has already lost two sub-species of tigers to extinction: the Bali tiger, which became extinct in 1937, and the Javan tiger, which vanished 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 with local people owing to dwindling habitats.

The exact number 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 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.

A 2009 report by the Forestry Ministry cited conflict with humans as the biggest threat to conservation. The report said that on average, 5 to 10 Sumatran tigers have been killed yearly since 1998.

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Translator: MHS Agus, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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