Indonesia: Villagers fear tiger invasion after prints found

Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 10 Jul 18;

Residents of Koto Tuo village in District XIII Koto Kampar, Riau, have something to fear after tiger prints were found on a rubber plantation near their residential compound last week.

As of Monday, they were still finding fresh prints along the village's roads.

Resident Usman said the first prints were found last Wednesday by a local resident identified only as Imar when he was heading to his farming estate.

“They were found some 50 meters from his house,” Usman added on Tuesday.

Usman said at first the prints did not attract Imar’s attention because they could not be clearly seen because some of them were covered by tire prints. Some, however, could still be clearly seen, according to Imar's explanations to other residents.

“Everyone later examined the prints and concluded that they were made by a tiger,” Usman said.

Worried about their safety, many residents are now reluctant to tap rubber early in the morning because the prints were not all the same size. It is believed that they belong to up to six tigers.

“We prefer to do so later, in daylight,” Usman said, adding that hopefully, the authorities would follow up on their finding.

Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency spokesperson Dian Indriati said the agency had received a report on the alleged presence of tigers in the Kampar rubber plantation area but could not give more details about the incident. (swa/ebf)

Team dispatched to track tigers in Riau
Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 10 Jul 18;

Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) head Suharyono said his institution had dispatched a quick response team following reports on social media about Sumatran tigers that had possibly found their way to Koto Tuo village, District XIII Koto Kampar, Riau.

“We have responded to the circulating information about the presence of tigers in Koto Tuo. Today [Tuesday], a team began to work in the field, in which as the first step, it coordinated with officials of the village,” he told The Jakarta Post.

Accompanied by Koto Tuo village officials and several witnesses, Suharyono said the team had checked several points across rubber plantation areas reported to be possible locations of the tigers.

“From the site investigation, the team’s personnel reported that they found footprints suspected to be the tracks of Sumatran tigers. It is probable that the footprints were made several days ago,” said Suharyono.

Suharyono could not yet confirm whether the footprints were from tigers, and if so, how many there were.

As reported earlier, many Koto Tuo residents are now reluctant to tap rubber early in the morning because the footprints are different sizes. It is believed that there are up to six tigers.

“To make sure of the whereabouts of the tigers, our team has asked village officials to prepare bait and place it in locations the tigers are likely to pass. Once they find that the bait has disappeared, they should immediately contact our team so we can take further steps,” said Suharyono. (ebf)