The Snare Rescue Story of a Sumatran Tiger Cub

Told by Panthera’s Media Director, Steve Winter

As Panthera's Media Director and a photographer for National Geographic, I have travelled across Asia and witnessed the widespread impact of wire snares on tigers. While on location for NatGeo on the island of Sumatra, I witnessed and was able to photograph the harrowing rescue of a snared tiger cub by staff from the Wildlife Conservation Society, one of Panthera's partners for Tigers Forever.

It appeared he was strung up for three long days without food or water, and was close to death. Veterinarians had no choice but to amputate the cub's paw to save its life. And while the cub survived, its freedom was lost. Unable to hunt and too young to fend for itself in the wild, this tiger cub will live out the rest of its life in captivity on the Indonesian island of Java.

Thanks to a generous donor, the next $25,000 raised for the 'Remove a Snare' campaign will be matched dollar for dollar, doubling the value of your gift and helping Panthera reach our goal of raising $50,000!

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Watch a video of this cub’s rescue by the Wildlife Conservation Society-Indonesia Program.

Sadly, each year dozens of tigers across Asia share a similar or worse fate. Wire snares are impacting Asia's already declining tiger population, estimated at fewer than 3,200 individuals.

Snares are set by poachers hunting food or targeting tigers for their skins and body parts that are sold on the illegal wildlife market. The demand is relentless and the tactics are ruthless. In Sumatra, I photographed domestic dogs being used as bait specifically to lure and ensnare tigers.

Watch a video of staff from Panthera’s partner, Fauna & Flora International, as they uncover a poacher’s snare that uses a domestic dog as bait.

To protect tigers and combat poachers, Panthera works with local and international partners to support Tigers Forever projects across the tiger's range. The backbone of this effort is an army of field teams that patrol tirelessly to remove and prevent the setting of snares, and use tip-offs to track down and arrest poachers that set snares to kill wild tigers.

I ask that you help us protect tigers and other wild cats from snares set by poachers by donating to Panthera's Remove a Snare campaign.

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