Sumatran tiger attacks Bengkulu villager

Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - A Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) attacked and injured Iwal (40), a resident of Pino Baru, Cawang village, Lubuk Sandi sub district, Seluma District, Bengkulu Province, on Wednesday (Oct 12) at 4 am local time.

Iwal was injured in his leg and thigh but he managed to free himself from the animal`s claws and run to safety, Sukirman, Iwal`s neighbor, said here on Friday.

He was attacked by the tiger when he was working in his coffee garden located inside the Bukit Sanggul protected forest area.

Sukirman said Iwal had managed to reach a nearby hut after being attacked by the wild animal.

At around 7 am, Sukirman arrived at the location and helped take him to M Yunus Bengkulu Regional Public Hospital.

Around three weeks ago, at the same location, a young man working as a coffee planter, was killed by a tiger.

The local Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) is now dealing with the wild animal attack case.

At least 10 man-versus-tiger conflicts occurred in Bengkulu province in 2011 causing the death of one person and one tiger, a local nature conservation official said.

"We have recorded 10 conflicts between humans and tigers that happened in areas between villages and forests," Amon Zamora, the head of the Bengkulu Nature Conservation Agency (BKSDA) said in Bengkulu last September.

The conflicts had occurred among other things in the border area between Air Ipuh forest and Malin Deman sub district, Muko Muko District, he said.

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 recently.

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