A student conducting research in the garden heard the roar of a tiger after which he fled the area and stayed away from the place, M. Umar Harun, the head of the Indralaya Campus' Garden Research, stated here on Thursday.
Harun revealed that another witness was a rubber tree tapper, who spotted an animal, most likely a tiger, in an area near the campus.
Harun stated that the report on the tiger was initially received from the student on Jan 4, 2020, and the second from the rubber tree tapper on Jan 7.
The rubber tapper claimed to see an animal as big as a calf that was striped but since the tappers spotted it from a considerable distance and before sunset, hence it was not quite clear.
"We had visited the locations and seen traces, but we do not yet know whether the traces belong to a tiger (panthera tigris) or a big wild cat since we are not experts," he remarked.
After the tiger was spotted, he sought a temporary suspension to research activities in the campus area. The university also reported to the local natural resources and conservation office (BKSDA) and sought help to check for possible presence of a tiger.
The research area, covering 200 hectares, comprises shrubs, 30 hectares of palm oil plantations, and 15 hectares of rubber plantations.
The garden is bordered by a community garden and has a two-meter-high concrete wall stretching tens of kilometers.
"As far as we know, several boars roam around inside the plantations, but we have never seen predators, such as tigers," he remarked.
Earlier, several residents of the Sri Kembang Badar Village, Muara Kuang Sub-district, Ogan Ilir District, had also claimed to have spotted a tiger on Jan 2.
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