Indonesian police have seized the preserved bodies of 14 highly endangered Sumatran tigers following a raid on a house in Jakarta.
The man identified as Feri was arrested on Tuesday in a suburban area of Depok suspected of his involvement in the illegal wildlife trade, national police spokesman Sr. Comr. Boy Rafli Amar said.
“We confiscated whole preserved bodies of 14 tigers, a lion, three leopards, a clouded leopard, three bears and a tapir and a tiger head,” he said, adding that investigations were ongoing.
Police believe that the man is part of an international tiger poaching and smuggling network that is operating throughout Asia. The suspect works as a taxidermist and the police spokesman stated, “The investigation is still continuing into how he obtained all the pelts and animal parts and where he planned to sell them,”
The Sumatran tiger and Javan leopard are both protected as critically endangered species.
A source at the National Police directorate of special told the Jakarta Globe newspaper that Feri was known to the unit as dealing in endangered species. The source said, “He bought them from other traders, hunters or [forest] residents,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “ He said he got most of them from Sumatra, and we’re currently looking into his statements.”
So far Feri has only been charged with the one count of possession of protected animal parts under the 1990 Natural Resources Conservation Law, for which he could get up to five years in prison and up to Rp 100 million ($10,600) in fines.