Five Indonesian snipers have been arrested for killing two Sumatran tigers, one of the most critically endangered tiger subspecies with a remaining population of approximately 400. The animals are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. What makes the story more tragic is that both tigers were pregnant, with four fetuses killed in addition to their mothers.
Eduward Hutapea, a local chief for environmental and forestry law enforcement, said that four men and one woman were arrested in two attacks by police in villages in Riau Province's Pelalawan district. A tip from villagers led to the arrests on Saturday.
Police managed to confiscate the preserved fetuses and some tiger skin from an adult tiger. Hutapea also said police were investigating to see if a major syndicate of illegal traders had anything to do with this incident.
The IUCN Red List was established in 1
The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of the six types of tigers, but it can still reach 300 kg. and grow to a nose to tail length of 8 feet. They live only on the island of Sumatra and live solitary night life. The only time they live in groups is when a mother takes care of the tiger cubs. The fur of a Sumatran tiger is a darker orange than other tigers and has a unique stripe pattern.
"The experts "Estimates that out of the Earth's approximately 2 million species, anywhere from 200 to 2000 are exterminated each year. Every schoolchild is taught about the Dodo bird that became extinct in 1681. The father of evolutionary theory was Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) and his simple argument was that all extinction is selective and when a species can no longer compete with other species, it will die out. .
The tragedy is that although the Sumatran tiger is likely to be sentenced to extinction, as all living things are, they cannot "compete" against snipers with weapons and an economic motivation to kill. It will take more than a scarlet colored list from a well-intentioned organization to stop these types of killings.