Indonesia: Bengkulu to Open Veterinary Facility, Rehabilitation Center for Sumatran Tigers

Helti Marini Sipayung Jakarta Post 31 Jan 17;

Jakarta. Lampung and Bengkulu's Natural Resources Conservation Agency, or BKSDA, will open a veterinary facility for Sumatran tigers victimized by human conflict.

“The clinic will treat tigers that became victims of human conflicts such as tigers trapped in snares set up by hunters,” agency head Abu Bakar said on Monday (30/01), as reported by state-run news agency Antara.

The facility will be built within Kerinci Seblat National Park in North Bengkulu, around 100 kilometers away from the provincial capital.

Medical attention for the tigers was usually handled by the Bengkulu BKSDA veterinary team. However, due to the lack of equipment, they were sent to Taman Safari Indonesia in Bogor, West Java instead.

Bengkulu and Lampung have the highest incidences of tiger deaths, recording two deaths in 2016.

According to Abu, by the end of last year, there were only 17 Sumatran tigers left in Bengkulu, mostly in Mukomuko, North Bengkulu, Lebong, Kaur and South Bengkulu districts.

“We have a responsibility to increase the tiger populations in the wild,” Abu said.

The clinic will be similar to a veterinary hospital, as it is equipped with full veterinary equipment and tiger cages. The facility also has a rehabilitation center, supported by the United States conservation group, US Fish and Wildlife Service, through Animal Sanctuary Trust Indonesia.

“We have an ultimate goal of releasing the tigers back into the wild after they receive full treatment at the rehabilitation center,” BKSDA Bengkulu wildlife doctor, Erni Suyanti Musabine said.

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