People Are Making Purses Out Of Tiger Cubs

The remains of two Sumatran tiger cubs are worth 100 million rupiah, or $7,595 USD on the street.

Paul Hilton

Paul Hilton, a wildlife photographer, was in Indonesia recently and came face-to-face with Agus Salim, a man who was caught trying to trade the skin and bones of these rare animals, which are often crafted into cruel clutches and accessories.

Paul Hilton

But Salim is just a middle man for a criminal mastermind and notorious wildlife trader known as Maskur, who could spell the extinction of the Sumatran tiger - there are just about 300 Sumatran tigers left in the world.

And the people trying to save them are racing against time.

Paul Hilton

This is why Hilton is hurrying to get stories about the critically endangered tiger's plight out into the world.

"Indonesia has already lost the Bali and Javan tiger, which were both hunted to extinction," Hilton told The Dodo. "Without a serious overhaul of its present laws on wildlife crime, Indonesia can presume that the Sumatran tiger is in its dying days."

Paul Hilton

According to people on the ground in Sumatra, everyone needs to pitch in to make sure extinction doesn't happen.

"Supporting law enforcement is part of our strategy to ensure the Sumatran tiger and other protected species are safe from poaching," Noviar Andayani, of the Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia, told Hilton. "This strategy needs cooperation and support from all sides; not only from law enforcers, such as the police department, and the Environment and Forest Ministry, but also from society itself."

Click here to learn how you can spread the word about the Sumatran tiger.

Click here to donate to the Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia.