The BKSDA team members had been notified on the trapped tiger in the area of Semendo Darat Ulu Sub-district on Tuesday at around 9 a.m. local time, Hasibuan told journalists in Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra, on Tuesday.
“We received information on the tiger this morning, but we must check the recorded data of our installed camera to know what time the tiger exactly came into the installed trap cage,” he noted, adding that the agency’s team members were currently evacuating the tiger.
During the evacuation process, the trap box must be covered with a tarp to protect it, Hasibuan explained.
The agency’s officers have installed several trap boxes and cameras in the districts of Pagaralam, Lahat, and Muara Enim following a series of tiger attacks in the areas of those districts.
To lure Sumatran tigers into the trap boxes, the BKSDA workers had placed goats as baits in them.
In 2019, the agency confirmed 15 tiger attacks had occurred in South Sumatra Province that resulted in the deaths of five people and injuries of 10 others.
From November to December 2019, the conservation office investigated six reports of tiger attacks. Hasibuan stated that the first attack took place on November 16, 2019, in which a 19-year-old tourist got injured.
Related news: BKSDA reports five deaths in Sumatran tiger-human conflicts in 2019
Following the incident, a Sumatran tiger also attacked a 58-year-old farmer in Lahat District that resulted in fatal injuries.
In the third report of human-tiger conflict on December 2, another farmer was injured, and he had witnessed a mother tiger and her cub at the location of the incident in Rimba Candi Village, Pagaralam City, South Sumatra Province.
ANTARA noted that in Indonesia, Sumatran tigers (Pantera Tigris Sumatrae) were the only surviving tiger species, as the country had already lost two sub-species of tigers to extinction: the Bali tiger that became extinct in 1937 and the Javan tiger in the 1970s.
Sumatran tigers, the smallest of all tigers, are currently a critically endangered species only found on Sumatra Island, Indonesia’s second-largest island.
The tigers are on the brink of extinction owing to deforestation, poaching, and conflicts between wild animals and local people owing to their dwindling habitats.
The exact figure of Sumatran tigers left in the wild is ambiguous, though latest estimates range, from under 300 to possibly 500 at 27 locations, including in the Kerinci Seblat National Park, Tesso Nilo Park and Gunung Leuser National Park.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), their numbers have decreased, from some one thousand in the 1970s.
The 2009 report by the forestry ministry points to conflict with humans being the biggest threat to conservation. The report cited that on an average, five to 10 Sumatran tigers have been killed yearly since 1998.
EDITED BY INE
Related news: BKSDA installs six other camera traps to avert human-tiger conflict
Related news: Sumatran Tiger seen roaming in Sriwijaya University's research area