A recent study has shown that there are only around 100 Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris Sumatrae) currently inhabiting Mount Leuser National Park which straddles the border of Aceh and North Sumatra Province.
"That was the current number based on the data collection done by our field officers," Head of Area III of Mount Leuser National Park Sapto Aji Prabowo said here Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in overall Sumatran regions, the population of the endangered endemic wild cat is about 400 to 500.
Illegal poaching has become a threat to the existence of the Sumatran tigers, Prabowo said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Police of Langkat District, North Sumatra arrested three residents suspected of hunting the tigers in Kutagajah Village of Kutambaru subdistrict.
The Langkat Police and personnel of Mount Leuser National Park Authority arrested them Tuesday evening along with some evidence such as a dried tiger skin, a plastic bag containing tiger bones, and two motorcycles.
The tiger skin and bones were valued at Rp42 million (roughly US$3,000) by the suspects.
The poached tiger was only five years old as per the observation of its teeth and bone size, Prabowo said.
The Mount Leuser Authority has urged the peoples participation to provide any information concerning the hunt on not only Sumatran tigers but also other protected animals in the national park.
Mount Leuser National Park covers around 7,927 square kilometer in northern Sumatra.
The park, located in the Barisan Mountain Range, is named after Mount Leuser (3,199m) and protects a wide range of ecosystems such as the Sumatran tigers and orangutans.(Antara)