JAKARTA — Internet trafficking of endangered Sumatran tigers is forcing Indonesia’s Forestry Ministry to take steps to protect the tiger’s shrinking population.
Doli Priatna, the Chairman of the Our Tiger Forum, says his investigation has revealed the existence of an international organization engaged in the selling of tiger parts around the region, according to Voice Of America Indonesian.
“Since the 1970s the population of Sumatran tigers has gone down drastically along with the increase of the human population,” he said. “Even now, tigers are hunted illegally for their parts. We discovered tiger part trading on the Internet. So, the rapid flow of information on the Internet indirectly increases the threats against tigers.”
The investigation shows tigers parts are being transported out of the jungle to be sold overseas. The parts first go to Singapore, where they are sold to other counties, including China, South Korea and Taiwan.
The number of wild Sumatran tigers has now dwindled to just 350. Doli Priatna contends that the authorities, especially the police, are not doing enough to crack down on the illegal tiger hunting.
The Forest Ministry’s Agus Sutito says his agency is forming task forces to collaborate with the local authorities on Sumatra Island, but admits it’s very difficult to safeguard the animal’s habitat.
Authorities confiscated 22 stuffed tigers that were put up for sale on the Internet last year. Image/Photo By Brimack/Creative Commons