Tiger strikes again in Jambi
Jon Afrzial , The Jakarta Post , Jambi Sat, 02/07/2009 1:06 PM The Archipelago
A resident living near the Berbak National Park in Muarojambi regency, Jambi, was lucky to survive a tiger attack, suffering only wounds on his thigh and arm, following three previous tiger attacks that led to fatalities.
Sutiyono, a resident of Mekarsari village in Kumpeh Ilir district, was attacked on Wednesday evening at 10:30 p.m. when going to the toilet located at the back of his house, Muarojambi Police chief of detectives Adj. Comr. Posma Lubis, said Friday.
Three previous victims were not so lucky and were killed by tigers. The victims were Rafa’I of Pematang village, and father and son Suyud and Imam of Sungai Gelam village. Both villages are located in Kumpeh Ulu district.
They were killed at a former forest production area, previously managed by timber firm PT RKI, which was being converted to farmland.
The victims were found in a poor condition with many body parts missing.
The Jambi Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) head, Didy Wurjanto, said the tigers could not be blamed for the attacks as the victims had entered the tiger’s habitat.
Didy said that tigers have a roaming distance of 50 kilometers.
He also said that his office had received reports that poachers had taken a tiger cub, causing the mother to be angry.
“The mother tiger will continue looking for her cub and she will continue roaming the forest”,” he said.
Didy said his office had the dual task of returning the tiger to her habitat while at the same time trying to catch the poachers.
“We have brought a cage with a goat as bait to capture the tiger. We have also prepared a rifle with tranquilizers,” he said.
The tiger is identified as a swamp tiger. If captured, it would be returned to the Berbak National Park or to the Semetis forest in neighboring Riau province.
Dedy warned villagers not to stay near the forest because the tiger could appear at any moment.
“This precaution is important to prevent any other fatalities,” he said.
Tigers coming out of their habitat could be related to the fact that some 40 percent of the park’s 162,700 hectares have been destroyed by illegal logging.
The tigers are also threatened by poachers, as there are currently only 30 tigers in the area compared to 50 tigers several years ago.