A young Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) was shot and killed by a coffee farmer in Jambi Province. With an estimated 400 individuals left in the wild, the species is Critically Endangered, while habitat loss increasingly forces them into populated areas to search for food.
The farmer reported that the tiger, a 4-6 month old female, had been in his coffee plantation since January 28th, and he was unable to return to the village—instead forced to spend the night in a makeshift hut with his wife and small child. The farmer claims that the following day as he tried to leave the hut, the tiger chased him and he shot it in self defense.
He immediately called his village headman to report the incident, who then reported the shooting to BKSDA (the Natural Resources Conservation Agency) in Bangko.
A patrol dispatched from Kerinci Seblat National Park found the tiger had suffered from, “wounds to the head caused by a sharp object,” and transported the body to Taman Rimbo Zoo for an autopsy.
Sumatran tiger in Sumatra. Photo by Matthew Linkie/FFI
A spokesperson for BKSDA, Wempy Endarwin, said that there have been multiple reports of human-tiger conflicts during the month of January. The previous week, an attack in the district of Siau left a villager with a severe injury to his foot before the tiger fled into the forest. Attempts by BKSDA to capture the animal were unsuccessful.
Of the less than 400 Sumatran Tigers that survive in the wild, an estimated 160 live in the area of Kerinci Seblat National Park—the largest protected area in Sumatra. As habitat fragmentation continues, the tigers are forced out of the forest to search for food, resulting in an increase in human-tiger conflicts.
Two other species of tiger once found in Indonesia, the Java tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) and the Bali tiger (Panthera tigris balica), were declared extinct in the 1940s and 1980s respectively.
Kerinci Seblat National Park is also home to two other Critically Endangered species: the Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) and Sumatran Rhinocerus (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis).
Original Article: Mongabau-Indonesia.
CITATION: Further reading (Sumatran Tiger population estimates):
Sunarto, Marcella J. Kelly, Sybille Klenzendorf, Michael R. Vaughan, Zulfahmi, M.b. Hutajulu, and Karmila Parakkasi. 2013. “Threatened Predator on the Equator: Multi-Point Abundance Estimates of the Tiger Panthera Tigris in Central Sumatra.” Oryx 47 (02): 211–20. doi:10.1017/S0030605311001530.