Tiger Hurts Jambi Man in Latest Attack Linked to Deforestation

Jakarta Globe 2 Mar 13;

A man in Jambi was attacked by a Sumatran tiger on Thursday, adding to a long list of human encounters with the endangered animal that has lost much of its habitat to encroachment and deforestation.

Sutrisno, 45, a resident of Muaro Sebo village, sustained serious wounds to his left thigh after being attacked at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

A witness, Dodi, said that Sutrisno was tapping for rubber in his field and noted that there were tiger footprints on the ground. Sutrisno later took a photograph of the footprints to alert his neighbors.

On his way back, he came face to face with the tiger.

Sutrisno went to reach for a wooden stick nearby but was attacked before he had could scare the tiger off.

The man tried to wrestle with the tiger before managing to climb a tree.

The tiger tried to chase after him but Sutrisno prevented it from climbing by hitting the animal repeatedly with the stick he was holding.
Several villagers immediately chased the tiger away after Sutrisno cried for help.

“The villagers in Muaro Sebo have now been told not to leave their houses,” Dodi said adding that there was another villager who claimed to have spotted at least three tigers not long before the incident.

The Jambi Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) immediately deployed several officers to hunt down the tigers in a bid to relocate them away from human settlement.

The BKSDA has recorded several human encounters with the endangered species over the past three weeks, saying that a recent flood might have pushed the tiger population even closer to human habitation.

Last week, two farmers in West Tanjung Jabung district were attacked by tigers and had to be hospitalized. Just days later, a domesticated cow in Batanghari district was killed and eaten by tigers.

BKSDA Jambi chief Tri Siswo said the majority of the tiger population live inside the Kerinci Seblat National Park, which borders three provinces — Jambi, West Sumatra, and Bengkulu — and was heavily affected by recent floods.

Tri said that massive deforestation was also to blame for the increasing number of encounters with the endangered species, which is estimated to number only 30 to 40 in the entire province.