Indonesia: 3 Sumatran tigers spotted near Bengkulu coal mine

The Jakarta Post 26 Oct 17;

Three Sumatran tigers have been spotted roaming around a mine belonging to PT Bara Indah Lestari in Seluma regency, located within the Bukit Badas limited production forest (HPT) in the North Seluma district of Bengkulu, has reported a local conservation official as saying on Thursday.

“We've spotted three tigers in the area in the past few months,” Darwis Saragih, head of the Bengkulu Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA), said on Thursday.

The tigers were seen at night around coal piles at the mining site, he added.

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The big cats, which are categorized as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, have apparently started roaming closer to the mine, as their natural habitat has been damaged by forest fires.It is estimated there are only 300 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.

The BKSDA has intensified its monitoring of the three tigers to prevent them from getting too close to local villages and possibly attacking their cattle livestock. The agency has also been fighting the rampant illegal poaching in the area, which is part of the Kerinci Seblat National Park. (dmr)