Sumatran tiger population now only 400 : Greenpeace

Because their habitats have been destroyed, the wild animals often enter villages and come into conflict with villagers.
Pekanbaru (ANTARA News) - The tiger population in the wild in Sumatra is believed to have dwindled to only 400 heads due to illegal logging in industrial forest areas, a Greenpeace activist said.

"We from Greenpeace urges all industrial forest companies, especially those operating in Riau Province, to stop their illegal logging activity for the sake of our grand children in the future," Rusmadya, a Greenpeace forest campaign coordinator , said here on Thursday.

Because their habitats have been destroyed, the wild animals often enter villages and come into conflict with villagers, he said.

He also urged the central government to seriously deal with the problem in order to preserve the endangered animal.

"We should remember that forests is are a sacred place according to our ancestors. If we destroy forests, it means we also destroy the traditions and beliefs of our ancestors," he said.

The Indonesian government estimates that more than one million hectares of forest are being cleared every year. At the rate forests are being destroyed today , the Sumatran tiger that has inspired Indonesia`s rich culture is likely to follow its Javanese and Balinese cousins into extinction soon.

In July, several Greenpeace activists accompanied the Center for Conservation of Natural Resources (BKSDA) Riau to this area in order to rescue a trapped Sumatran tiger. Unfortunately, the rescue effort failed to save the tiger`s life as it had been trapped for seven days and was too weak to survive the rescue attempt.(*)

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