My apologies, in advance, if this makes you as sick to your stomach as it does me.
This story came out this week from Jambi, Indonesia. There was a rare and highly endangered Sumatran Tiger at the Taman Rimbo Zoo…Sheila was her name. After hours, brutal poachers broke into the zoo’s tiger enclosure after having evidentally drugged Sheila earlier in the day, and killed and skinned her where she lay. To avoid the difficulty of having to drag out a huge animal, police say the clearly professional team of poachers instead skinned and scavenged her remains on site so they could remove just what they needed for the black market. They left behind only internal organs and some bones. Even the blood is believed to have been collected in plastic bags to be sold. The skin, in pristine condition, would fetch between US$3,500 and $4,500 on the black market–now that’s worth it, eh? Sheila was the only Sumatran Tiger at the zoo, and was considered the centerpiece of the zoo’s conservation and education work.
Scientists believe there are only somewhere between 100 and 400 Sumatran Tigers remaining in the world.
There are lots of animal conservation programs with which you can get involved, from volunteer travel projects to worthy recipeients of your donations. Let this disgusting news be a call to action.
Save the Tiger Fund or any other endangered species protection programs are worth a look around…