Indonesia’s forest rangers have notched up a major victory against tiger poachers with the arrest of a notorious figure who claims to have killed more than 100 of the endangered animals. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and his son were caught in a sting operation with the pelt and skeleton of a Sumatran tiger at Kerinci Seblat national park. There are believed to be about 500 of the animals left in the wild, down from 10s of thousands at the beginning of the 20th century.
The 57-year-old suspect reportedly told police he had killed more than 100 tigers over a 30 year period. His family is feared and respected in their village – Tunggang in northern Bengkulu – which has long been a centre of poaching, according to conservationists. “He is very well known in the underworld,” said Debbie Martyr, field co-ordinator for Fauna & Flora International’s Kerinci tiger protection programme. “For someone like this to get caught will put a chill down the spine of opportunist poachers. If these two can get caught, anyone can.” The arrests follow a two month undercover investigation led by rangers from FFI’s tiger protection and conservation unit with backup from Bengkulu city police.
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