SERIOUS THREAT OF HUNTER SNARES
By: Nur Arinta
Some time ago, a female Sumatran Tiger found 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 named 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 six ounces. If the female tiger was not killed, she would have been expected to give birth next two weeks.
A few days after a Sumatran Tiger mother found died 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 which installed by hunters in the forest. It is not only 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 is still four years old must lose ten centimeters from the tip of his trunk, because it was cut off by the hunter's snare. Not only Sumatran Tigers and Sumatran Elephants, other animals such as rhinos, tapirs and deer are also the 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. It could be that the snare was aimed to trap the wild boars, but because the size of installed snare was quite large in diameter, using strong devices such as steel slings, other animals that passed through the area could be potentially caught by the trap.
Reported by Kompas.com, snares trap are confirmed to kill animals that are caught to the trap, both directly and indirectly. If there are animals caught by the snares and survived, these animals would have severe injuries like Erin who must live its life with an imperfect proboscis. Quoting the same source, snares have been shown to reduce the wildlife population. Vietnam's, Laos's, and Cambodia's forests are full of hunter snares. This makes the diversity of animals very small. In fact, tigers have been declared extinct in all three countries. In Indonesia, 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 “The Wildlife Snaring Crisis: An Insidious and Pervasive Threat to Biodiversity in Southeast Asia” revealed that a snare was the reason for the extinction of species in the Southeast Asia region. Snares can be made easily and cheap in large quantities, and it is quite effective for hunting because it is very difficult for animals to recognize it.
We cannot deny that until now the exploitation of wild animals as a commodity continues to occur, both intended to be a pet or meal. The Consumption of wildlife body part has many ways, made into food, believed to be traditional medicine that can cure various diseases as well as becoming a symbol of wealth and high social status.
Thus how can we stop it in Indonesian forest? 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, the Directorate of Law Enforcement of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, or through the app “E-Pelaporan Satwa Dilindungi.” which available on Play Store.