Page last updated at 00:01 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 01:01 UK

Indonesia thieves loot tiger body

sumatran tiger
Sumatran tigers are on the brink of extinction

Thieves have killed an endangered Sumatran tiger in an Indonesian zoo and stolen most of its body, officials say.

Only the intestines of the female tiger were left, staff at Taman Rimba Zoo said. Police believe the thieves intend to sell the animal's fur and bones.

The World Wildlife Fund estimates that fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild.

Despite laws against the sale of tiger parts, wildlife groups say they are sold openly in several Sumatran towns.

A 2008 study by British-based wildlife trade monitoring network, Traffic, showed that tiger bones, claws, skins and whiskers were being sold openly in eight cities on the island.

Traffic says tigers are killed to supply parts for souvenirs, Chinese medicine and jewellery.

The Sumatran tiger is listed as critically endangered, the highest category of threat.

They are on the brink of extinction because of rapid deforestation, poaching, and conflict with humans.

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