Source AP ©

Three-legged Sumatran tiger seen in Indonesian conservation park

A three-legged Sumatran tiger, believed wounded by a villager's snare and among one of the rarest kinds of tiger, has been spotted in an Indonesian conservation park, the animal conservation group WWF said Thursday.

The Sumatran tiger is the most critically endangered tiger subspecies in the world, with fewer than 400 believed to be left in the wild. They are still hunted for sale on the black market, and are sometimes killed after confrontations with locals.

Pictures snapped by a motion-sensing camera at the Tesso Nilo National Park showed the male tiger with just a partial front right leg, but it appeared to be in otherwise good physical condition, a statement said.

It was first photographed in March and again in May in two different parts of the conservation park in Sumatra's Riau province, said Sunarto, a WWF tiger expert who, like many Indonesians, goes by a single name.

The tiger is believed to have escaped from a snare set by a villager late last year.

"It's particularly upsetting that this happened inside a national park," Sunarto said. "It was spotted in good condition, but his future is uncertain ... We can't afford to lose even one."

The nearly 39,000-hectare (100,000-acre) park is crucial to conservation efforts. The WWF has proposed expanding it by at least 100,000 hectares (nearly 250,000 acres) to ensure long-term viable populations despite a shrinking habitat.

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