Indonesian government has come up with a new plan to save Sumatran Tigers and add an additional revenue stream. They offer rich people to rent out tigers. All of this effort to help curb illegal hunting and trade
Requirement to rent Tigers –
- Deposit – US$107,100 (Rp1 billion)
- Annual Tax to Indonesian government – Unknown
- At least 5,000 square-meters of land for a tiger
- For cages – Minimum dimensions: 5 meters high, 6 meters wide and 10 meters long
- Allow quarterly visits by a team of vets, animal welfare officers and ministerial staff
Tigers would be taken from the breeding center in Lampung forest, set up by funding from a private company.
“There is much demand from rich people who want them, who feel that if they own a tiger they are big shots. We have to take concrete steps to protect these animals,” said Darori, the ministry’s chief of forest protection and nature conservancy.Source: thejakartaglobe.com
It seems that the scheme of renting out tigers came after some rich people pitched the idea.
Another ministry official, Didi Wuryanto, dismissed fears the scheme could put a price on the heads of the few remaining wild tigers, which are nearing extinction due to habitat loss on their native Sumatra island.
Much of the jungle which the tigers call home has been destroyed by rampant illegal logging overseen by the forestry ministry, forcing the animals into lethal competition with villagers.
“This idea of selling the tigers to the public came about after several wealthy businessmen proposed buying them,” Wuryanto said.
“They don’t just want to own horses. They want to be acknowledged as special people with prestige, so they want to keep tigers.
“But we’re not in it for the money… We want to save the tigers.”
How could you not be in the money?
Obviously, the environmental agencies are not happy.
Greenpeace Southeast Asia forest campaigner Bustar Maitar said the government might not like to admit its plan amounted to selling critically endangered tigers as pets, but that was what would happen.
“Whatever the term used, this is the same as selling tigers. The government doesn’t care about tigers, only about people with money,” he said.
“This isn’t the solution to save tigers. The correct solution is to save the forests first.”
Activists also said the forestry ministry, seen as one of the most corrupt organs of the Indonesian government, could not be trusted to administer a tiger trade.
“Who’s going to manage this money? How do we know the money will go towards animal conservation?” asked Harito Wibisono of tiger conservation society Harimau Kita Forum.
How can the government seriously think about curbing hunting and trading by converting these wild animals into pets? On paper it does serve the purpose but defeats the purpose of keeping the “near” extinct animals in their natural wild habitat. Seems like another way for the government to make money without really helping the tiger population.