Ninth Man Killed by Tiger Attack

JAKARTA ~ A tiger mauled to death an illegal logger on the island of Sumatra, an official said on Wednesday, the ninth such death in the last five weeks.

The man, killed on Tuesday night in Jambi province, is the latest victim in a string of attacks that also claimed the lives of two illegal loggers on Sunday, provincial conservation agency head Didi Wuryanto said.

“The village head told me that a group of illegal loggers wanted to secretly transport the victim’s body out of the forest. They didn’t want to be caught breaking the law,” Wuryanto said.

Villagers have trapped and killed four of the endangered tigers in response to the string of deadly attacks, which conservationists say are largely caused by illegal logging in tiger habitats.

Human-animal conflicts are a rising problem as people encroach on wildlife habitats in Indonesia, which has some of the world’s largest remaining tropical forests.

An 83-year-old man was also trampled to death on Wednesday by a herd of around 30 elephants that stormed into a village in neighboring Riau province, the local conservation agency said.

Wuryanto said provincial authorities met on Wednesday to discuss preventive measures aimed at defending villagers and protecting the big cats from human reprisals.

“We won’t discuss how to stop tigers from wandering the forests, because that’s their habitat, but we need to find immediate solution to avoid more victims,” he said.

There are less than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, according to WWF.

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