A rescue team deployed to the area to save and move the tiger, allegedly fleeing from the forest fire that gutted Riau Province, reached the conclusion after conducting a check of Chevron's Gathering Station 5 area in Minas, Siak District, Heru Sutmantoro, an official of the Riau Natural Resource Conservation Office (BBKSDA), stated here on Thursday.
"Based on the result of on-site examination, the Sumatran tiger had indeed entered the GS area. Its trail was found, and it had headed outside the GS area by scaling the two-meter-high fence," he stated.
He believed the tiger was headed to the Sultan Syarif Hasyim Forest Park, located some 12 kilometers from the GS 5 area.
The Riau BBKSDA is ready to guard the activities of Chevron workers in the GS 5 area if the need arises, he added.
Related news: Forest fire allegedly drives tiger into Chevron facility
A video of the tiger, which had gone viral in Riau, showed the wild animal running near the fence of the Chevron facility. Head of the Riau BBKSDA Suharyono had earlier confirmed the receipt of information from Vice President External Affairs of Chevron Hasim M. Noor explaining that the video was taken by a security guard at Kilometer 5 of the eastern Trans-Sumatra road near the Gathering Station (GS) facility 5 of Chevron in Minas.
It was the first time that a Sumatran tiger was found roaming around the oil facility in the morning, Suharyono stated, adding that this might be the upshot of a forest fire in the district that had ravaged the species' habitat.
Land and forest fires had engulfed a wider area in Riau since July, including in Siak District, and triggered haze in several regions.
"This is because the land and forest fires had destroyed the habitat, so this species had fled its habitat. I hope that it would not be viewed as an enemy," he added.
Forest fires often compel Sumatran tigers to leave their habitats and head further away in search of food.
"In case of a forest fire, an effort must be made to rescue tigers immediately," Director General for Ecosystem and Natural Resource Conservation of the Environmental and Forestry Ministry Wiratno stated.
The Indonesian Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry will focus on Sumatran tiger preservation by constructing a tiger rehabilitation center in Riau, Wiratno stated.
Injured tigers were, until now, moved to a private tiger rehabilitation center located in Dharmasraya, West Sumatra Province.
With its own tiger rehabilitation center in Riau, it would be faster and more efficient to rehabilitate injured tigers in the province, he pointed out.
The injured tigers, on recovery, will be fitted with a GPS satellite collar to monitor their movements before being released into the wilderness.
Riau recently released two Sumatran tigers named Bonita and Atan, who had got into a conflict with the local villagers.
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