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Tiger Conservation units earn their stripes thanks to funding from 21st Century Tiger

We’re pleased to report that we’ve just received great news from the 21st Century Tiger Project, a tiger conservation group supported by our customer’s purchase of our Indian Tiger Mountain coffee. They’re cheered to announce that a small but precious victory has been made for wild tiger populations in Sumatra.

Last week (12th July 2017), local law enforcement authorities in the district of Bengkulu, south of Kerinci Seblat National Park in Sumatra arrested two poachers and their financier whilst still in possession of the remains of two recently-killed sub-adult tigers. The park is located at the southern end of Sumatra, not far from Palembang, where large quantities of robusta are grown (higher-quality Sumatran Arabica tends to be grow in the north, near Medan).

The juvenile tiger skins recently recovered following the arrest of two poachers and their financier. Photo from Kerinci Seblat National Park.

The loss of the two young tigers is tragic, but the arrests provide a significant silver lining for the Tiger Protection and Conservation Units (TPCUs) which were funded by 21st Century Tiger, a joint initiative of the Zoological Society of London and the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation. Together with the local police force, the teams were able to conduct a successful investigation and remove three more criminals from the forest.

There are presently six four-man TPCUs in operation, with each unit made up of ranger members drawn from forest-edge communities, and led by a National Park Ranger leader. This year, the TPCUs conducted a total of 127 patrols, spending a total of 671 unit days in the field. With their help, 10 tiger poachers or traders have been arrested in four operations across several of the provinces which overlay the national park.

The TPCUs are also responsible for cooperating with the communities who live on the edges of forests that are inhabited by tigers. These groups can provide invaluable information on poaching syndicates that may be in the area, and by educating them on the positive impact of tigers in the natural ecosystem, they can become strong allies. Tigers are the natural predators of wild boar, and play an important role in the reduction of their numbers, in turn reducing damage to crops.

Tigers bones and other body parts can fetch extraordinary prices to make Traditional Chinese Medicines such as Tiger Bone Wine, whilst the hides are used for high-end luxury decor. With only 3,000 wild tigers left in the wild, 21st Century Tiger’s efforts are crucial to their preservation.

We would like to congratulate and thank everyone who has contributed to the 21st Century Tiger fund through their purchase of Indian Tiger Mountain coffee. To date, thanks to the generosity of our customers, Bennetts have been able to contribute US$24,644 to the cause.

If you’d like to know more about 21st Century Tiger, click here.

To learn more about the coffee, please click here.

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