Indonesia arrests 5 suspected poachers of pregnant tigers

Indonesian authorities have arrested five suspected poachers of a pair of critically endangered pregnant Sumatran tigers and seized four fetuses that had been preserved in a jar

PEKANBARU, Indonesia -- Indonesian authorities have arrested five suspected poachers of a pair of critically endangered pregnant Sumatran tigers and seized four fetuses that had been preserved in a jar, a forestry official said Sunday.

The five suspects — four men and a woman — were arrested by a team of police and forestry ministry officers in separate raids in two villages in Riau province's Pelalawan district on Saturday after receiving a tip from villagers, said Eduward Hutapea, a local Environment and Forestry Law Enforcement chief.

Hutapea said police confiscated the four preserved fetuses and a piece of an adult tiger's skin from the suspects, two of whom are believed to have been acting as sellers.

He said police are investigating to see whether it is part of an illegal wildlife animal trading syndicate.

Sumatran tigers are the most critically endangered tiger subspecies on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's red list. About 400 remain, down from 1,000 in the 1970s, because of forest destruction and poaching.