En­dan­gered tiger killed in Myan­mar af­ter at­tack: state me­dia

Mizzima Business Weekly - - NEWS ROUNDUPS -

An en­dan­gered tiger was shot dead by se­cu­rity forces in east­ern Myan­mar on 25 Fe­bru­ary, af­ter it at­tacked lo­cal fish­er­men as they tended their nets, the state mil­i­tary news­pa­per re­ported.

Sol­diers and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties hunted the an­i­mal “to pre­vent dan­ger to vil­lagers” af­ter it mauled the two men in the early hours of the morn­ing, the army’s Myawaddy pa­per said in a post on its Face­book page

Myan­mar’s tiger pop­u­la­tion is a frac­tion of what it used to be.

The coun­try cre­ated the world’s big­gest tiger re­serve in north­ern Kachin state, but in 2010 that park was es­ti­mated to con­tain just 50 tigers.

The re­port on the at­tack in Kawkareik, Karen state, showed pic- tures of the dead an­i­mal sur­rounded by peo­ple tak­ing pic­tures on their phones, along with graphic im­ages of a deep gash on the back of one of the men.

De­for­esta­tion and poach­ing have dev­as­tated tiger num­bers in Asia, with re­cent es­ti­mates from the In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture (IUCN) putting the global pop­u­la­tion at just 2,154.

A forestry depart­ment of­fi­cial said civil­ian au­thor­i­ties were seek­ing fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on the tiger killing, adding that a lo­cal mil­i­tary-linked mili­tia was thought to have shot the an­i­mal.

He said a few tigers were thought to be liv­ing in Karen’s moun­tains, but that no sur­veys have been done in decades be­cause of the pres­ence of var­i­ous armed groups.

“Tigers are very rare. It is crit­i­cal to pre­serve them,” he said. “There is not much left for them to eat in the for­est be­cause of de­for­esta­tion, so their be­hav­iour has changed,” he told AFP, re­quest­ing anonymity.

Myan­mar has been wracked by con­flict be­tween the na­tional mil­i­tary and eth­nic armed groups for over half a cen­tury.

While con­ser­va­tion­ists ap­plauded the cre­ation of Kachin’s tiger re­serve, con­flict and the close prox­im­ity of China -- the world’s largest con­sumer of tiger parts -- have raised fears for its sus­tain­abil­ity.

IUCN says Myan­mar is one of sev­eral South­east Asian na­tions that do not sup­port breed­ing tiger pop­u­la­tions.


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