Indonesia: Roaming elephants, tiger trouble Jambi residents

Jon Afrizal The Jakarta Post 6 Dec 17;

Residents of Sarolangun and Kerinci regencies in Jambi have complained about wild animals entering their villages and wreaking havoc on their plantations.

Muslim, a resident of Sipintum village in Pauh district, Sarolangun regency said a herd of wild elephants had often wandered into the village's plantation in the past month, damaging the plants and huts there.

"We ask the authorities to take the elephants back to their habitat, so they don't keep coming into our village," he told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The herd of seven elephants has damaged 9 hectares of plantation land and one hut, Pauh district military commander, Capt. Sutego said. He urged residents to restrain themselves from harming the protected species.

"We ask the residents not to act rashly. We can find a mutually beneficial solution,” he said.

Meanwhile, residents of Semurup village in Kerinci regency face a similar problem. They have been reluctant to go to their fields in recent days, fearing attack by a tiger that has been spotted nearby.

"We hope that the authorities take action soon. If nothing is done, the tiger might come into the village," a resident named Uwo told the Post.

Indonesian Conservation Community (KKI) Warsi head, Nur Kholis, said in the past seven years 14 people had fallen victim to tiger attacks, while two people died after confrontations with elephants. On the other hand, 18 tigers and seven elephants had been killed by poachers.

"These incidents tell us that there is an imbalance in nature," he said. "A damaged ecosystem causes conflicts between humans and animals.” (kmt/rin