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Jakarta Post

Sumatran tiger returns to wild after recovering from injuries caused by snare

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, December 21, 2020   /   06:03 pm
Sumatran tiger returns to wild after recovering from injuries caused by snare This photo taken on June 19, 2020, shows a female Sumatran tiger inside a cage before being released into the wild in the Leuser ecosystem forest in the southern Aceh province. (AFP/Chaideer Mahyuddin)

A female Sumatran tiger that was rescued by authorities in March after being ensnared in a wire trap was returned to the wild on Sunday in a habitat restoration area in Riau.

A team of experts from Gadjah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta previously conducted a habitat feasibility study to determine the location to release the tiger, named Corina, head of Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency Center (BKSDA) Suharyono said.

"The team was led by Prof. Satyawan Pudyatmoko from UGM's Forestry Faculty," he said on Monday as reported by kompas.com.

He explained that Corina was found caught in a nylon wire trap on March 26 at a pulp plantation belonging to PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) Estate Meranti in Pelalawan regency.

"Our medical personnel managed to free Corina a day later. Her right front leg was severely injured by the snare," Suharyono said.

He estimated that Corina had been trapped for three days before PT RAPP field officers found her on the outskirts of the plantation.

Read also: Back into the wild: Captured Sumatran tiger released into Mt. Leuser National Park

The tiger was then transferred to the Dharmasraya Sumatran Tiger Rehabilitation Center (PRHSD) in West Sumatra to undergo intensive treatments.

"Lab results revealed that Corina has non-regenerating macrocytic normochromic anemia resulting from nutritional deficiencies," Suharyono said.

"Deep and wide cuts were also found in her leg. Fortunately her tendons are still intact," he added.

After undergoing intensive treatment in a quarantine cage, Corina was transferred to an enclosure so that experts could observe her behavior as well as her ability to catch prey.

"After nine months of treatments, Corina is fully recovered. Her weight has also increased from 77.8 kilograms to 89 kilograms," he further stated.

Corina was moved to a habituation cage at the release location last Monday. Authorities then put a GPS tracking collar with iridium satellite transmitters on her on Dec. 17 to observe and map her movements.

The battery on her collar could last up to two years and is automatically set to snap open in October 2022.

"The collar is also equipped with a radio transmitter so we can still monitor Corina's movement using the radio tracking receiver's triangulation system when GPS satellite coverage is limited," Suharyono said.

The Sumatran tiger has been listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List since 2008.

Read also: Sumatran tiger found dead, ensnared in Riau

An estimate from the Environment and Forestry Ministry puts the wild Sumatran tiger population as of December 2018 at no more than 600 because of a loss of habitat and poaching.

Poaching accounts for almost 80 percent of Sumatran tiger deaths, according to TRAFFIC, a global wildlife trade monitoring network.

On June 29, a Sumatran tiger was found dead after reportedly ingesting toxic substances in South Aceh, Aceh province. A week prior, a buried carcass of a male tiger was uncovered in Batang Gadis National Park, North Sumatra, with its pelt and organs missing.

In May, another tiger was found dead in a conservation area in Siak, Riau, after one of its legs got caught in a wire trap. (nal)