Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Parts of Nearly Extinct Tiger Openly Sold in Sumatra

Parts of the Sumatran tiger, a critically endangered species, are being openly sold in 10% of 326 retailers surveyed across the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Although there are laws in place to protect the tigers, a lack of enforcement has led to the widespread sale of the tigers’ body parts in gold and souvenir shops and as ingredients in traditional medicine. The study, conducted by wildlife trade monitoring organization Traffic, estimated that about 23 tigers were killed to provide the products they found for sale. There are thought to be less than 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.

The rare and exotic animal is on the World Conservation Union’s “red list” of the most endangered species in the world. The Sumatran tiger is the last wild tiger found in Indonesia after Javan and Bali tigers were driven extinct from habitat loss and hunting for parts.

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