Sumatran tiger mauls Indonesian farmer to death

AP News
Posted: Mar 13, 2013 3:54 AM

MEDAN, Indonesia (AP) — A rare Sumatran tiger has mauled a farmer to death on Indonesia's Sumatra island, prompting terrified villagers to call for the animal to be killed, a park official said Wednesday. The same animal is suspected in attacks on five other people.

The official at Batang Gadis National Park, Yudi Santoso, said 32-year-old Karman Lubis was killed this week while working on a rubber plantation near the park in North Sumatra province. His mangled body was found Tuesday about 1 kilometer (less than a mile) from the plantation.

Fearful farmers have asked authorities to shoot the tiger, even though it is protected by law. The local government plans to try to trap and relocate it.

The same tiger is thought to be responsible for attacks on five other people as well as livestock over the past month in Jambi, another province on Sumatra island, said Nurazman Nurdin, an official with the provincial nature conservation agency.

A farmer and four plantation workers were hospitalized with injuries in those attacks, Nurdin said.

Indonesia is home to some 400 Sumatran tigers, which are on the brink of extinction because of deforestation, poaching and clashes with people. The World Wildlife Fund says their numbers have dwindled to about 400, down from about 1,000 in the 1970s.

The biggest threat to conservation is conflict with humans, according to the 2009 report by the Forestry Ministry. On average, five to 10 Sumatran tigers have been killed every year since 1998, the report said.