The Jakarta Post
A worker with PT Riau Indo Agropalma (RIA), Wahyu Kurniadi, is reported to have died following a tiger attack last Thursday in the firm's plantation area in Tanjung Simpang village of Pelangiran district, Indragiri Hilir regency, Riau.
The 19-year-old victim was suddenly pounced on from behind while he and four coworkers were working on acacias. The tiger mauled Wahyu's neck and then dragged him into bushes.
His coworkers succeeded in driving the animal off leaving its badly injured victim behind. Wahyu, however, succumbed to his wounds.
"The victim will be buried in his hometown in Aceh, as requested by his family," said Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) head Suharyono, on Friday.
He added that the BKSDA had assigned a special team to the village to educate residents and workers on what to do when they encounter wild cats.
Another worker with PT RIA, identified as M. Amri, died in similar circumstances also in Tanjung Simpang village last May. Suharyono said the area where these conflicts between humans and tigers happened was among the last remaining tiger habitats in Riau, a province in Sumatra Island.
He claimed that the BKSDA was currently looking for a solution in favor of the critically endangered mammal. "It's not wise of us to remove the tigers from their own home. Therefore, we will make the best possible solution for the problem," he added.
The Sumatran tiger population is under threat as a result of deforestation and rampant poaching. The species has been listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List since 2008, with an estimated number of fewer than 400 surviving in the wild. (vny)