February 10, 2009
Tigers Lurk Outside Indonesian Village
Safety concerns are increasingly high among residents of an Indonesian village as three endangered Sumatran tigers that have reportedly been attacking nearby livestock.
The three tigers have been near the forest village of Halaban in West Sumatra for the past two weeks, residents say.
In an effort to drive the animals away, regional conservation agency officials have set off explosions using gunpowder-filled metal pipes.
Residents have become so fearful of the tigers that they have kept away from working in their nearby farms.
"In the early hours of last Sunday local residents again spotted one of them," Ferizal Ridwan, a noted figure in the Halaban village, who is also a member of the Limapuluh Kota Legislative Council, told The Jakarta Post.
"I assure you there are at least three tigers. This can be proven from the steps they left behind - two belong to big tigers and another one belongs to a small one," Ferizal said.
So far, the tigers are responsible for killing four goats and a cow. The cow's remains have been hung on a rope in an attempt to trap the animals.
"If the tigers keep creating conflict to the village, then we have to use traps and relocate them," said provincial conservation agency head Indra Arinal.
In January, two women were trampled to death by a pair of elephants in Aceh province after the animals entered an illegally cleared field from nearby jungle. A man was also reportedly killed by two tigers on Sumatra island last month.
Fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers roam the wild, according to environmental group WWF.
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