These human-wildlife conflicts must immediately be resolved to prevent both people and wild animals from getting dragged into an ongoing suffering
Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - Human-wildlife conflicts have become a serious problem that should to be promptly, properly, and comprehensively handled in the Indonesian province of Aceh to preserve endangered wild animals that are native to the island of Sumatra.

This week, three Sumatran tigers (Pantera Tigris Sumatrae) were found dead after being caught in several wild boar traps that a poacher had apparently set in Ie Buboh Village, Meukek Sub-district, South Aceh District.

Their deaths have added to the list of dead wildlife found in Indonesia. The South Aceh district government has called for the police's probe into the shocking deaths of these critically-endangered animals that reportedly occurred on August 26, 2021.

South Aceh District Head Tgk Amran deplored the deaths of these critically-endangered animals that are native to the island of Sumatra and urged the local police to investigate the case.

The Sumatran tigers, including two 10-month cubs, were found dead after being caught in wild boar traps that a poacher had apparently set inside a conservation area on Thursday.

The poacher, suspected to be behind the deaths of a 10-year-old female tiger and her two cubs, might come from outside South Aceh, Amran noted in Tapaktuan, the capital of South Aceh District, on Friday (Aug 27).

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Amran claimed that local residents, who rely on forests for feeding their families, do not set any trap that may harm endangered wild animals.

All endangered wild animals, including Sumatran tigers, must be protected and preserved, as they are the wealth of the nation's natural resources that can be passed down to the next generation, he affirmed.

"South Aceh’s residents have coexisted with tigers for a long time," Tgk Amran noted.

During an armed conflict between the Indonesian government and Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in the past, tiger tracks became a helpful guide when Amran, who led the GAM's armed wing in Lhok Tapaktuan region, lost his way in dense forests.

Over the past two years, conflicts between residents and Sumatran tigers repeatedly occurred in certain areas of the province.

In October 2020, a conflict also erupted in Durian Kawan Village, Kluet Timur Sub-district, South Aceh.

In dealing with this challenging situation, the South Aceh district government sent a tiger handler named Teungku Syarwani Sabil, 83, to help handle the conflict.

The tiger handler, who came from Meulaboh in West Aceh District, was asked to repel the tigers to return to their natural habitat and stop posing a threat to the villagers, according to Head of the Kluet Timur Sub-district Muriadi S.

Teungku Syarwani Sabil was deployed in Durian Kawan Village after two cows belonging to the local villagers were attacked by several Sumatran tigers near the village, he stated.

He has frequently been deployed by the district government and related authorities to help keep away Sumatran tigers that wandered around farmland and villages in Kluet Timur Sub-district's areas to return to their habitat.

"The tigers are successfully sent back to forests," he stated, adding that Sumatran tigers tended to trespass twice a year during which those endangered wild animals attacked the local villagers' cattle.

Despite the Indonesian government's ongoing endeavors to end human-wildlife conflicts in various regions, the human-tiger conflict has continued unabated in 2021.

In January this year, a Sumatran tiger was found safe but in a weak state after getting caught in a wild boar trap that locals in Southeast Aceh District set in their farming area.

The tiger, whose was estimated to be between one and one and a half years of age, was found in a boar trap that several residents of Gulo Village set up in their farmland near the Mount Leuser National Park (TNGL) area.

The villagers found the Sumatran tiger in a weak condition due to dehydration and its right leg was injured due to the trap, according to Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) Head Agus Arianto.

The tiger's condition was stable after receiving medical care, he informed ANTARA after being contacted from Meulaboh in January this year.

The BKSDA officials received information on the ill-fated tiger. Shortly thereafter, the officials along with the national park rangers, policemen, and military personnel evacuated the endangered animal to the TNGL checkpoint for providing medical care.

The tiger's wounds were supervised by veterinary practitioners in the TNGL regional office in Kutacane, Southeast Aceh District. After having fully recovered, the tiger was then released into its habitat, Arianto noted.

In response to the recurrences of human-wildlife conflicts in Aceh, Yahdi Hasan, a member of Aceh Province's legislative body, had also highlighted the importance of protecting and preserving the natural habitats of wild animals.

He contended that the conflicts occurred due to degradation and destruction of the wild animals' natural habitats partly due to human activities for harvesting natural resources to make a living.

"These human-wildlife conflicts must immediately be resolved to prevent both people and wild animals from getting dragged into an ongoing suffering," Hasan stated.

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Editor: Sri Haryati
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