About Sumatran Tiger

Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), is the tiger found only in Sumatra island, Indonesia. Sumatran tiger is one of six surviving subspecies of tiger which is classified by IUCN as critically endangered.

About 400-500 wild Sumatran tigers left, which are distributed in several National Park in Sumatra. Recent genetic testing has revealed the presence of unique genetic markers, indicating it may develop into a completely separate species if it does not become extinct.

Sumatran Tigers can breed any time. Gestation period is about 103 days. Usually tigress gave birth to 2 or 3 heads of tiger cubs at a time, and maximum six cubs. New cub’s eyes open on the tenth day, though several cubs were born at the zoo are listed born with open eyes. Cub drinking only its mother’s milk during the first 8 weeks. After that they can eat solid food, but they still suckle for 5 or 6 months. Tiger cubs first leave the nest at the age of 2 weeks, and learn to hunt at the age of 6 months. They can hunt alone at age 18 months, and at age 2 years can stand on its own. Sumatran tigers can live for 15 years in the wild, and 20 years in captivity.

Sumatran tiger is found only on Sumatra island.  Sumatran tigers face threats will lose their habitat because the area of its spread, such as blocks of lowland forest, peat and threatened mountain rain forest clearing for agricultural land and commercial plantations, as well as encroachment by logging and road construction activities. Due to the increasingly narrow habitat and decreases, the tigers were forced into areas closer to humans, where often they were killed and arrested for entering rural areas or lost due to an accidental encounter with humans.

Sumatran tigers are the smallest tiger subspecies. Sumatran tiger has the darkest color among all other tiger subspecies, the black pattern width and the distance is sometimes tightly attached. Male Sumatran tigers average length 92 inches from head to tail, or about 250 cm long from head to foot with the weight 300 pounds or about 140 kg, while the height of adult males can reach 60 cm. Females average 78 inches in length or about 198 cm and weighs 200 pounds or approximately 91 kg.

Sumatran tiger stripe is thinner than other tiger subspecies. Sumatran Tiger skin color is the darkest of all tigers, ranging from the yellow-red to dark orange. This subspecies also had more beard and mane than other subspecies, especially the male tiger. Their small size makes it easier to explore the jungle. There is a membrane in between her fingers that made them able to swim fast. Tigers are known to corner their prey into the water, especially if the prey animal is a slow swimmer. Fur changed color to dark green when giving birth

Tiger parts trafficking in Indonesia is increasingly threatening. From a survey conducted by ProFauna Indonesia, supported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), found  in July – October 2008. Over the past 4 months ProFauna visit 21 cities / locations in Sumatra and Jakarta.

High number of tiger parts trafficking has been reported to the Department of Forestry  in April 2009, with the hope that the government can take decisive steps to address the trade of endangered species protected. Several concrete actions have been taken by the government to decrease trafficking in tiger parts in Jakarta

Tiger parts trafficking is a criminal act, because it violated the UU number 5/1990 about Conservation of Natural Resources and their Ecosystems. Under 21th clause  point (d) that ”every person is prohibited to trade, keep or possess skin, body or other parts of protected wildlife or goods made from these animal parts or removing the card from somewhere in Indonesia, the other place within or outside Indonesia”. Violators of these provisions may be subject to criminal sanctions in the form of a maximum of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of 100 million.


On August 2009, SPORC of POLHUT (Forestry Police) inpartnership with Sumdaling Polda Metro Jaya successfully rolled syndicate tiger skin trade in Jakarta. Beside secured two Sumatran Tiger skins intact, police also confiscated six mounted birds of paradise, 2 skins of forest cat, 12 mounted deer heads, 1 surili, 5 skull deers, bear and 11 sead sambar skins. The syndicate was allegedly also involved several zoos in Java and Sumatra.

Revelation of tigers trafficking and other endangered species syndicates in Jakarta has proven that ProFauna’s report on tiger trade is a fact. The fact is like an iceberg phenomenon, just look at the surface. The fact is actually believed to be far greater than that was already detected.

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