Jakarta. A sun bear was found dead at Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park's Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation Center in Talangsimpang, Lampung.
The national park security patrol team found the bear's carcass near the park borders in Sugi Sane village earlier this month.
"We found the bear's chest cut open, indicating the perpetrator took its enzyme-rich gallbladder intending to sell it," Ketut, the national park's security patrol representative, said in a statement on Tuesday (27/12).
Ketut explained that the bear was likely tortured before its death as it was initially trapped by a sling iron. The perpetrator then appeared to have pulled out all of its teeth and claws with force. This was to get the bear's adrenaline flowing, which in turn makes its bile sac enlarge.
"The bear was tortured to extract its enzymes. We suspect that the enzymes would then be sold on the black market, where they are worth millions," Ketut added.
The national park's security patrol team found that the offender also took the bear's teeth and claws to be sold illegally.
Poaching is rampant in the national park. Our team often finds abandoned animal carcasses, the result of hunting in the area," the officer stated. The team previously found several porcupine and mouse deer carcasses, as well as deer legs, which were discarded after their meat was taken by hunters.
The bear carcass discovery proves that hunting protected animals is becoming too common and increased action and attention from law enforcement is needed to prevent this.
Sun bears are protected under Indonesian law and are listed as "vulnerable" in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Endangered Animals.