Sumatran tiger shot dead after breaking free from Indonesian zoo

A sleeping Sumatran tiger, Photo by Sam on Unsplash
A sleeping Sumatran tiger, Photo by Sam on Unsplash

A critically endangered Sumatran tiger was shot dead on Saturday after she escaped from a zoo on Borneo island, an Indonesian official said. Another one is still running free.

The tigers, both female and about 18 months old, broke free from Sinka Zoo in the town of Singkawang on Friday. Days of heavy rain caused a landslide and opened a tunnel allowing their exit.

A zookeeper, monkey, ostrich and cassowary were found dead near the tiger cage. Police and conservation officials were immediately called to search for the tigers.

Nearby tourism attractions were ordered to close and locals were told to stay at home while police searched for the tigers.

“We tried with a tranquilizer gun first but it didn’t work, so we were forced to shoot the tiger,” Sadtata Noor Adirahmanta, the head of a local conservation agency, told AFP.

“We were afraid she would escape to the nearest neighborhood. Although we tried our best to catch her alive, our priority is humans’ safety,” he added.

Authorities are still looking for the other tiger in the jungle surrounding the zoo.

Sumatran tigers are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with only 400 believed to be left in the wild.

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