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Jakarta Post

Hunt continues as bear attack victim improving

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru, Riau   /   Thu, October 5, 2017   /   09:57 pm
Hunt continues as bear attack victim improving A sun bear at Bandung zoo in West Java. (JP/Arya Dipa)

Saruli, a 60-year-old rubber farmer from Riau's Teluk Paman village who sustained serious injuries in a recent bear attack, is now in a stable condition as authorities continue to hunt down the bear to prevent a similar incident from recurring.

After six hours in the operating room at Arifin Achmad Regional General Hospital in Pekanbaru on Wednesday evening, Saruli's condition is improving.

“The patient is able to talk, but is still undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit," hospital director Nuzeli Husnedi said on Thursday.

Saruli, who sustained serious injuries throughout his body, particularly on the head, as well as a jaw fracture, was handled by a team of neurosurgeons, vascular and plastic surgeons.

His wife, 55-year-old Bunai, died from a fractured skull in the incident that occurred on Tuesday while the couple were tapping rubber on a plantation only around 500 meters from their house in Kampar Kiri district, Kampar regency.

A joint team of the Riau Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA), local police and the local administration continued on Thursday to search for the bear.

The efforts were to no avail, apart from finding bear tracks and claw marks. Authorities remain clueless of the bear species.

"Judging from the traces, it seems to be an adult bear," said Mulyo Utomo of the BKSDA.

Local residents have been instructed to temporarily halt activities on plantations following the first known attack of a bear in the area, which was suspected to be due to food depletion and habitat loss. (ipa)