One of our anti-poaching patrol teams in the Leuser Ecosystem just sent us these brutal images. In their 15 day patrol the 5 rangers destroyed 70 snares in total. This is extremely alarming since the total snares found for the whole of last year was 175. What’s worse is that five of this month’s snares had wildlife already trapped in them.
Three of the snares had killed porcupines which are hunted and cut open for the bezoar stone they may or may not have in their stomach, prized for unproven medicinal value on the black market. Porcupine snares frequently also maim and kill other endangered species like young tigers, sunbears and primates.
The team found a Thomas Leaf Monkey in one of the snares, dead for perhaps 3 days. Its mouth twisted in a grimace made plain the long painful struggle it must have gone through trying in vain to escape tightening wire. This is a particularly cruel way to die – a slow agony. A poacher had set this snare in the mouth of a porcupine’s den so the monkey had likely been seeking insects with his troop on the ground and reached into the hole, activating the trigger which wrenched him upwards and snared him by the arm.
One animal had more luck against the poachers: the rangers found a wild pig still alive in a snare, thrashing around madly – caught by the snout. With some effort, the team managed to release the injured pig and it ran into the forest.
In the last month, three critically endangered Sumatran elephants have been killed in oil palm plantations and this year there have been several major busts of wildlife traders attempting to smuggle live Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tiger body parts, and even 5 tonnes of frozen pangolins.
We urgently need more teams to stay ahead of the poachers before it is too late for the incredible wildlife of the Leuser Ecosystem. With your regular donation each month we can hire and equip more rangers, stop more poachers, and save more animals. Every dollar counts so please join us in combating the poaching crisis today! Http://www.orangutan.org.au/HAKA/donate
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