West Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) and the Directorate of Conservation of Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (KKHSDG) together with ARSARI Djojohadikusumo Foundation (YAD), and supported by the Indonesian Ministry of Defense through the Air Operation Command I of Air Force Base Roesmin Nurjadin, Regional Center for Natural Resources Conservation (BBKSDA) Riau, Sintas Indonesia Foundation, and the Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Andalas University, conducted a wildlife release for a female Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) named “Putri Singgulung”, in a conservation area in West Sumatra on (16 October 2022).
“This release is the second experience for Putri Singgulung, her first one being on 27 November 2022. This time around, she has been evaluated to be able to adapt better to her new habitat since 30 October 2022,” said the Head of West Sumatra BKSDA, Ardi Andono.
Putri Singgulung is a Sumatran tiger who was rescued alongside her sibling, Putra Singgulung, in Solok Regency, West Sumatra, back in June 2020. At that time, she was estimated to be 8 (eight) months old when she was entrusted to the Dharmasraya Sumatran Tiger Rehabilitation Center (PR-HSD) managed by ARSARI Djojohadikusumo Foundation to be rehabilitated for initially 4 (four) months, from June to October 2020.
Ardi Andono stated that wildlife releases are carried out in accordance with standard operating procedures while keeping in mind the principle of precaution as not to cause negative impacts on animals, habitats, and the surrounding communities. A team has been formed to conduct ecological spatial modeling and ground check on the feasibility of the release site together with the Sintas Indonesia Foundation and Department of Biology of Andalas University, and they evaluated that the current release location have indeed met the criteria as a Sumatran tiger release site. “Another important task that needs to be done is post-release monitoring to ensure that Putri Singgulung is safe and comfortable in her new home,” he explained.
Separately, Acting Director General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation (KSDAE) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Bambang Hendroyono, remarked that the government and related parties will continue to strive in preventing and managing conflicts between humans and wildlife. Wild animals often become victims when a conflict occurs, so communities living around tiger habitats need to develop awareness of living in a conflict-prone area, and know to immediately report to the local BKSDA to get directives related to mitigating and handling wildlife conflicts.
“We would like to thank the ARSARI Foundation led by Hashim Djojohadikusumo, and other supporters including the Indonesian Ministry of Defense, for the excellent cooperation effort in the release of Putri Singgulung. We hope that Putri Singgulung’s unique records from rehabilitation process until release will be a great addition in our knowledge repository, especially in the field of Sumatran Tiger rehabilitation,” concluded Bambang.
Today, the West Sumatra BKSDA continues to patrol the nagari (village) which has been identified as a red zone post-release. Putri Singgulung was finally declared to have successfully adapted into her habitat.
Jakarta, KLHK, 2 November 2022
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Notes from ARSARI Djojohadikusumo Foundation
THE 8TH SUMATRAN TIGER RELEASED BY ARSARI DJOJOHADIKUSUMO FOUNDATION
The ARSARI Djojohadikusumo Foundation (YAD) as the superintendent of Dharmasraya Sumatran Tiger Rehabilitation Center (PR-HSD ARSARI), in collaboration with the West Sumatra BKSDA would like to thank all the parties involved in the successful rehabilitation process and the release of Sumatran Tiger Putri Singgulung. Hashim Djojohadikusumo, Chairman of YAD, remarked “We are all proud to be able to release the 8th Sumatran Tiger rehabilitated in our facility. Thank you for trusting our team at PR-HSD ARSARI, a team blessed with passionate young people as veterinarians, animal caretakers, biologists, and forest rangers who have done this nation proud in wildlife conservation efforts”.
Vet. Dr. Patrick Flaggellata, Operational Manager of PR-HSD ARSARI, added, “We are grateful that Putri Singgulung can finally be released into the wild, especially since she had a history unsuccessful release when she was about 8 months old. But now, after 2 years of rehabilitation with an intensive process to rekindle her wild instincts, ability to hunt live prey, avoidance of humans, and remarkably good physical health, we were finally able to issue a recommendation to the BKSDA that Putri was ready to be released on October 16, 2022”.
After a lengthy rehabilitation process, one of the keys to successful release is the release location. “The use of a helicopter as a support from the Ministry of Defense and the Indonesian Air Force will be continued in the future, considering the utmost importance of a safe release location in the middle of the forest with limited access to human activities. Aside from ensuring animal safety, the shorter journey also means significantly reducing stress in animals,” explained Catrini Pratihari Kubontubuh, Executive Director of ARSARI Foundation.
Presently, PR-HSD ARSARI is taking care of Putra Singgulung, the sibling of Putri Singgulung who is being rehabilitated intensively to prepare for his future release. One would hope that Sumatran tigers can continue to exist and thrive. “All wildlife are God’s creations with their respective roles in the universe, and our task is to protect them from extinction,” concluded Hashim Djojohadikusumo who has consistently expressed his concerns in the conservation of nature and wildlife.
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