Sumatra has a declining tiger population of around 500, under threat from all sides and increasingly vulnerable to disease outbreak as their population fragments. Reports from human-tiger conflict cases suggest wild tigers are behaving strangely, apparently losing their fear of people and straying into villages – symptoms worryingly consistent with infection with potentially deadly Canine Distemper Virus (CDV).
No relevant veterinary testing has yet been conducted in Sumatra but there are parallels with recent tiger behaviour in the Russian Far East in which CDV infection has been firmly established. Anecdotal evidence suggests the problem may be widespread in Sumatra and potentially in other tiger countries.
WVI’s overall objective is to develop a network of vets and field staff dealing with tigers across their range state, that are able to deal with tigers in a conflict situation and to assess and mitigate any diseases that are affecting…
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