Greenpeace reveals shocking video of endangered Sumatran tiger dying in leghold trap

Feature story - July 25, 2011
The Greenpeace office in Indonesia was alerted recently to the fact that a Sumatran tiger was caught in a leghold trap in the province of Riau.

Warning: the video footage may upset you. 

After the tiger had suffered for a week without food or water, forest officers arrived to evacuate the tiger – but it was too late. The tiger died during the rescue attempt.

Greenpeace media campaigner, Zamzami, traveled with the rescue team as an observer. He described the tiger’s last few hours. Despite its ordeal, the “tiger still emitted a strong wild aura” and “greeted me with an angry roar. Everyone present stood stunned and silent to see the “King of the jungle lying low, trapped and suffering in his own home”.

The tiger was trapped on the border of PT Arara Abadi, an APP acacia plantation in the province of Riau.

Video footage shot near where the tiger died shows a large area of recently destroyed forest where active clearing was ongoing. Trees were being felled and heavy machinery was busy clearing the rainforest.

Unfortunately, more tragic moments may be the future for the majestic Sumatran tiger, which is already endangered. Only around 400 remain in the wild. Now, even one less than that.

Yet APP operations in Indonesia continue to clear rainforest, including tiger habitat. This destruction of the home and hunting grounds of the Sumatran tiger is done to feed APP’s pulp and paper operations that produce all sorts of things, including throw-away toy packaging used by toy companies such as Hasbro, Disney and Mattel.

Roads in a forest are like veins: once opened they can drain the forest of life. APP operations destroy habitat where tigers sleep, roam and hunt. APP’s roads for carrying out timber also let in people who lay traps to hunt other animals. They may not intend to harm tigers but they do.

The destruction of their habitat also causes tigers to roam further afield for food and shelter, bringing them into conflict with communities.

APP has ambitious plans to expand into more Sumatran tiger habitat.

APP adds insult to injury by portraying itself as a sustainable, responsible business that protects biodiversity and animals like the Sumatran tiger. Its television and print ads run all over the world presenting the company almost as if it is an NGO. It uses the tagline ‘APP Cares’ next to an image like the imprint of a tiger paw, giving the impression that APP cares about tigers.

In reality, APP’s operations destroy tiger habitat for profit, and push these animals to the brink of extinction.

Toy manufacturers, such as Mattel, Hasbro and Disney, have a role to play in saving tiger habitat. They can remove APP packaging from their supply chains. The must also adopt policies for their paper products that will ensure they are not part of rainforest destruction.

The last, tragic moments of this one Sumatran tiger are just the latest example of the terrible costs of the ongoing destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests. If APP continues to operate this way, there will be more.

Greenpeace is campaigning to convince APP to stop destroying rainforests in Indonesia, and instead protect animals like the Sumatran tiger, minimize negative consequences for forest communities, and help Indonesia cut its carbon emissions contributing to climate change, most of which come from deforestation.

Greenpeace is campaigning to protect Indonesian rainforests and tiger habitat. Support our work by making a donation.