Indonesian man arrested for killing tiger in zoo

Indonesian man arrested for killing tiger in zoo

(AFP) – 6.21.2010

JAKARTA — Indonesian police have arrested a man who allegedly poisoned and skinned a critically endangered Sumatran tiger in a state-owned zoo, an official said Monday.

Akmamul Mukminin, 24, was detained last week and could face up to five years in jail and a fine of 100 million rupiah (11,000 dollars) for killing a protected animal, conservation official Didi Wuryanto said.

The suspect allegedly killed the tiger, named Shella, in August in Taman Rimbo zoo, Jambi province, by placing poisoned bait in its enclosure after closing hours.

He then allegedly skinned it on the zoo grounds, aided by two accomplices.

Wuryanto said the arrest sent a message to poachers that Indonesia was serious about protecting its tiger population.

Conservationists estimate there are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, due to habitat loss and poaching.

“Legal action like this is very important to give a deterrent to the criminals. They must know that we’re serious about enforcing the law,” he said.

One of the accomplices has been sentenced to three years and ten months in jail for the crime.

Wuryanto said police were still hunting a third suspect.

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