Serious Threat of Hunter Snares | WWF Indonesia

Serious Threat of Hunter Snares

Posted on 05 January 2019   |  
By: Nur Arinta
Some time ago, the conservation people were mourning the discovery of a female Sumatran tiger that died in a hanging position with a steel sling snare still wrapped around her waist. This poor tiger was found on the border between Muara Lembu Village and Pangkalan Indarung within the Rimbang Baling landscape, Riau. The fact which makes it terribly sad is the result of the necropsy, which revealed that the big cat with the Latin name Panthera Tigris Sondaica (Wilting, 2015) died along with two prospective babies who were ready to be born. The two tiger fetuses were male and female with a weight of 6.5 ounces and 6 ounces. If the female tiger was not killed, she would have been expected to give birth within the next two weeks.
A few days after the discovery of a Sumatran Tiger mother who was killed by a snare other sad news came from Aceh. One Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) was found dead with severe injuries in the front left leg. The wounds were caused by a snare installed by hunters in the forest. Not only does it trap adult elephants, snares are also dangerous for young elephants. We certainly still remember Erin, the adorable elephant whose trunk was broken. This adorable animal that is still four years old must lose 10 centimeters from the tip of his trunk because it was cut off by the snare of the hunter. Not only Sumatran Tigers and Sumatran Elephants, other animals such as rhinos, tapirs and deer are also often victims of hunter snares.
The snare is indeed a simple device, but this simple device is a serious threat to the population of animals such as tigers, rhinos, elephants and other animals. This trap becomes dangerous because it does not specify its target, and thus any animal can become a victim to the snare. It could be that the snare was originally intended to trap wild boars, but because the size of the snare installed was quite large in diameter, let alone using strong devices such as steel slings, other animals that passed through the area of the snare could be potentially caught by the trap.
Reported by, trap snares are confirmed to kill animals that are caught to the trap, both directly and indirectly. If there are animals that are caught by the snares and survived, these animals experience severe injuries such as Erin who must live its life with an imperfect proboscis. Quoting the same source, snares have been shown to reduce the wildlife population. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have forests full of hunter snares. This makes the diversity of animals very minimal. In fact, tigers have been declared extinct in all three countries. In Indonesia alone, there are 130 cases of Sumatran Tigers entangled and all of them have died in the last 15 years.
Thomas N. E. Gray, in his research entitled “The Wildlife Snaring Crisis: An Insidious and Pervasive Threat to Biodiversity in Southeast Asia” revealed that a trap shaped like a snare was the reason for the extinction of species in the Southeast Asia region. Snares can be made easily and cheap used in large quantities, and is a type of trap that is quite effective for hunting because it is very difficult for animals to recognize it.
One of the main causes of the trap is the widespread hunting of wildlife due to high demand on the black market. We cannot deny that until now the exploitation of wild animals as a commodity continues to occur, both intended to be a pet or have its body parts consumed. Consumption of body parts of wildlife can be done in many ways, from being made into food, believed to be traditional medicine that can cure various diseases as well as becoming a symbol of wealth and social status.
Thus how can we stop the proliferation of hunter snares that has been lurking about in the forests of Indonesia? The real contribution we can make is to actively stop the trade of protected wildlife. If you find the practice of hunting and trafficking of endangered animals, do not hesitate to report it to authorities such as forest rangers, the local Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), the Directorate of Law Enforcement (GAKKUM) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, or through the app called “E-Pelaporan Satwa Dilindungi.” Let us break the chain of disaster for the sake of the animals in Indonesia.


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