(ANTARA FOTO/Helti Marini Sipayung)
Indonesia: Sumatran Tiger rescued from trap undergoes leg amputation
By Helti Sipayung, 5th April 2014;
A Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), rescued earlier after becoming entangled in a sling snare trap in Bengkulu Province, had one of its legs amputated on Saturday due to a severe infection.
The medical team at Bengkulu Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) had to amputate the tiger’s front right paw to prevent the spread of the infection.
“The tiger may set her paws on the ground again in three weeks,” a veterinarian of BKSDA Erni Suyanti Musabine said.
Elsa, the name of the tiger, will receive treatment for the next three weeks.
The three-year old female tiger was 1.5 meters long and weighed 70 kilograms. It was rescued by the BKSDA in Beriang Tinggi Village, Tanjung Kemuning Sub-district, Kaur District, Bengkulu.
The BKSDA received a report about the trapped tiger on Tuesday, April 2, from an official of the local Forestry Office, who was measuring the perimeter of the commercial permit (HGU) for PT Dinamika Selaras Jaya, a private oil palm plantation company in Beriang Tinggi Village.
The BKSDA team began the rescue operation on Thursday morning, as it was difficult to work at night. The veterinarian said it might be difficult for the tiger to hunt once it is returned to the wilds.
However, research from the agency using camera traps, showed that some tigers, who also have had one of its legs amputated, are able to survive.
Sling snare traps set by poachers or even local residents have become a serious threat to wildlife in Sumatra.
Last year in February, another female Sumatran Tiger was found entangled in a sling snare trap in Bengkulu.
Due to a severe infection, the tiger died two months later. The local BKSDA veterinarian said one of the tiger’s rear legs had a pinched nerve after being entangled in the sling snare trap. It also suffered from liver disease.