Sumatran tiger kills Indonesian farmer
Jan 25, 2009, 3:20 GMT
Jakarta - A wild tiger attacked and mauled to death a farmer in Indonesia's Riau province on the eastern of Sumatra, a local media report said Sunday.
The incident occurred Saturday morning when the victim, identified only as Rabai, 45, was walking to the rubber plantation in Pemantang Raman village of Muara Jambi district, the Kompas.com online news portal reported.
Didi Wurjanto, the head of Jambi provincial Natural Resources and Conservation Agency, was quoted as saying residents found the body of Rabai not far from his hut with deep wounds on his chest and waist.
'For a tiger to pounce a man like this is a rare case,' Didi said, explaining that tigers generally avoid humans.
The incident occurred at dawn and the tiger probably thought the man was livestock, because it left immediately and did not eat him, Didi said.
He speculated the tiger entered the settlement area looking for livestock, as food sources in the forest are increasingly difficult to obtain. He added that conservation officials had installed carbide bombs to drive the beast back into the forest.
Environmentalists say such attacks result from the destruction of the tiger's natural habitat by logging, noting that the animals would not disturb humans if their habitat were not destroyed.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are between 400 and 500 Sumatra tigers left in the wild. The Sumatran tiger is believed to be the last remaining sub-species of tiger indigenous to Indonesia. The Bali and Java tigers are believed to be extinct.
Environmentalists blame illegal hunting, which claims an estimated 50 Sumatran tigers per year, and rampant deforestation in Sumatra for the big cats' drastic drop in population.