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Indonesia soldiers punished for owning dead tigers

2 Indonesian soldiers sentenced to jail for possessing dead endangered Sumatran tigers

Indonesia soldiers punished for owning dead tigers

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) -- An Indonesian court sentenced two army officers Thursday to up to three months in jail for illegally possessing dead endangered Sumatran tigers.

Chief Private Rawali and Chief Sergeant Joko Rianto were convicted in a military tribunal in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh, said Lt. Col. Budi Purnomo, who presided over the tribunal in Aceh's capital, Banda Aceh.

The soldiers were found guilty of violating the country's 1990 Law of Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystem by possessing the protected animals, Purnomo said.

Rawali, who like many Indonesians uses one name, was sentenced to three months in jail, and Rianto received a two-month sentence. Rawali was also fined $230, while Rianto was fined $450.

It's believed to be the first time Indonesian soldiers were convicted of illegally possessing dead protected animals.

Sumatran tigers are the most critically endangered tiger subspecies. About 400 remain, down from 1,000 in the 1970s, because of forest destruction and poaching.