Rare tiger killed at Indonesian zoo

August 23, 2009 6:20:58 AM PDT
A group of thieves killed an endangered tiger in an Indonesian zoo and stole most of its body, zoo officials said Sunday, a theft police suspect was motivated by the animal's valuable fur and bones. The remains of the female Sumatran tiger were found by staff Saturday at the Taman Rimba Zoo in Jambi province on Sumatra island, said zoo director Adrianis, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.

"It was sadistic," Adrianis said of the attack. "The killers left only its intestines in the cage."

Posma Lubis, lead detective for the Jambi police department, said they were searching for the perpetrators.

It was unclear how the thieves broke into the zoo or how many were involved.

British-based international wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC said in a 2008 report that it found tiger bones, claws, skins and whiskers being sold openly in eight cities on Indonesia's Sumatra island in 2006, despite tough laws banning such trade.

The group estimated that 23 tigers had been killed to supply the parts found for sale in souvenir, Chinese medicine and jewelry stores.

Sumatran tigers are on the brink of extinction because of rapid deforestation, poaching and clashes with humans. Their numbers have dwindled to about 250 from about 1,000 in the 1970s, according to the Washington D.C.-based World Wildlife Fund.

Find us on Facebook® | Follow us on Twitter | More social networking
ABC13 widget | Most popular stories | Street-level weather
ABC13 wireless | Slideshow archive | Help solve crimes