Indonesia: Sumatran tiger "Bonita" returns to forest

Genta Tenri Mawangi Antara 22 Mar 18;

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - A female Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) called "Bonita" has returned to her home in the forest, after roaming at the oil palm plantation and fatally attacking two locals in Indragiri Hilir, Riau.

"During a patrol, our officers have reported that the Sumatran Tiger Bonita has returned to the wild," Mulyo Hutomo, head of the Bonita rescue team, informed Antara in Pekanbaru on Wednesday.

He stated that the critically endangered Sumatran tiger was roaming in the 22-kilometers-square-green belt area, which is situated in the borderline of the forest and an oil palm plantation, owned by the Malaysian-based company, PT Tabung Haji Indo Plantation (THIP).

For two months, the protected Sumatran tiger inhabited some zones in the plantation, including the Eboni 62, Eboni 63, and Eboni 64.

Hutomo stated that he will assure that the Sumatran tiger will remain in the wild and not return to the plantation or the residential area.

Hence, he will maintain coordination with the joint forces of the Indonesian Military, Indonesian National Police, the Natural Resources Conservation Office (BBKSDA), and the local government to regularly conduct patrols for rescuing the lost wild animal.

"Although Bonita has returned home, we are still conducting patrols for seeking and rescuing any wild animals that may be lost," he noted.

An immediate rescue is needed when a wild animal leaves his habitat for a prolonged period.

"We have noticed some changes in Bonita`s behavior," he stressed.

Following the incident, some 30 officers of the joint forces are still patrolling the forest to assure the safety of Bonita and the people.

These officers are divided into three groups, comprising of seven personnel and one sniper.

For two times, during the day and the night, the patrol officers will follow the tiger`s trail in the forest.

Bonita had received wide coverage from local and international news after attacking two villagers at the plantation. Her first victim reportedly was a 33-year-old-woman named Jumiati.

Meanwhile, the tiger`s second victim was a 34-year-old-man named Yusri Efendi.

Both victims are the residents of Indragiri Hilir District, Riau Province.

Reported by Anggi Romadhoni
Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja

Sumatran tiger captured after 100 days of hunting
Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 22 Apr 18;

After being hunted for more than 100 days, a Sumatran tiger, called Bonita by animal conservationists, was captured alive on Friday in Indragiri Hilir regency in Riau.

Bonita had been haunting human neighborhoods, scaring residents for months. The latest tiger-human conflict in Sumatra saw a tiger brutally killed, as angry residents in North Sumatra speared the animal to death and later hung it from a ceiling.

Read also: Tiger brutally killed in North Sumatra, hung from ceiling

Following the incident, activists have been campaigning for Bonita’s life, pleading with residents and Riau authorities to capture the big cat alive.

Bonita, estimated to be four years old, had been shot twice with tranquilizer, Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency head Suharyono said in the provincial capital of Pekanbaru on Saturday.

Read also: Why blaming superstition for tiger's death is wrong

A joint team had been on patrol in the wee hours of Friday, amid heavy rain, in a plantation area run by PT Tabung Haji Indo Plantation in Tanjung Simpang village, Pelangiran district. Earlier, they had found Bonita’s traces and followed them. “Her favorite track is hard soil,” Suharyono said.

Bonita was different from other tigers, Suharyono said. Besides preferring a beaten path instead of the bushes, Bonita also showed a calm demeanor when she found herself in a cage. Other tigers would usually fight for their freedom, he said. (evi)

Rescued Sumatran tiger is improving, says conservation group
Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 25 Apr 18;

A Sumatran tiger named Bonita that was recently caught in Indragiri Hilir regency, Riau, after a 100-day hunt is now under the watchful eye of the Arsari Djojohadikusumo Foundation’s (YAD) medical team.

Bonita was weak and refused to eat when she first arrived at the Dharmasraya Sumatran Tiger Rehabilitation Center (PRHSD) in West Sumatra on Saturday, according to YAD executive director Catrini Pratihari Kubontubuh

“On Sunday, a team of veterinarians took samples of her blood and treated her for two hours. The team found several diseases, such as a tumor located under the skin around her stomach. The team performed surgery to remove the tumor; it’s not [malignant],” Catrini told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

She added that Bonita’s condition had been improving in the last two days.

“We gave her a chicken and she was able to catch it by herself, just like in her natural habitat. She previously refused to eat, maybe because she was too tired. It took 20 hours to bring her to the rehabilitation center from where she was caught. Throughout the trip, she had to be kept conscious,” Catrini said, adding that it was prohibited to use anesthesia on animals that were being transported.

She rejected rumors claiming that Bonita suffered from obesity.

“She weighs around 82 kilograms; that’s normal for a 4-year-old tiger.”

Claims were also made that Bonita might be pregnant, which the veterinarian team has been unable to confirm.

“We’ll need to check that using an ultrasound,” Catrini said. (ebf)

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