TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A Sumatran tiger (Pantera Tigris Sumatrae) got captured in a trap recently installed by the West Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in Gantung Ciri Village, Kubung Subdistrict, Solok District's forest area on Saturday.
"It is likely one of three Sumatran tigers often seen by local villagers wandering around the farming area. Two others remain in the wild," Head of Nagari Gantung Ciri Hendry Yuda said in Kubung on Saturday evening.
The Gantung Ciri Village's authority handed over the captured tiger, whose age was predicted to be 1.5 years old, to BKSDA representatives on Saturday at around 07.00 p.m. local time. Several hundred residents witnessed the handover, he said.
For safety reason, Yuda urged the villagers to remain vigilant, and halt their farming activities until the situation has really been secure.
The conflicts between Sumatran tigers and local people have frequently occurred in certain parts of Sumatra Island over the past years.
In January 2020, a Sumatran tiger was captured in the area of Semendo Darat Ulu Subdistrict, Muara Enim District, South Sumatra Province.
According to the South Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), in 2019, there were 15 confirmed tiger attacks in the province that resulted in the deaths of five people and injuries of 10 others.
From November to December 2019, the conservation office investigated six reports of tiger attacks. Hasibuan stated that the first attack took place on November 16, 2019, in which a 19-year-old tourist got injured.
Following the incident, a Sumatran tiger also attacked a 58-year-old farmer in Lahat District that resulted in fatal injuries.
In the third report of human-tiger conflict on December 2, another farmer was injured, and he had witnessed a mother tiger and her cub at the location of the incident in Rimba Candi Village, Pagaralam City, South Sumatra Province.
ANTARA noted that in Indonesia, Sumatran tigers were the only surviving tiger species, as the country had already lost two sub-species of tigers to extinction: the Bali tiger that became extinct in 1937 and the Javan tiger in the 1970s.
Sumatran tigers, the smallest of all tigers, are currently a critically endangered species only found on Sumatra Island, Indonesia's second-largest island.
The tigers are on the brink of extinction owing to deforestation, poaching, and conflicts between wild animals and local people due to their dwindling habitats.
The exact figure of Sumatran tigers left in the wild is ambiguous, though the latest estimates range, from under 300 to possibly 500 at 27 locations, including in the Kerinci Seblat National Park, Tesso Nilo Park, and Gunung Leuser National Park.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), their numbers have decreased, from about one thousand in the 1970s.
The 2009 report by the forestry ministry points to conflict with humans being the biggest threat to conservation. The report cited that on average, five to 10 Sumatran tigers have been killed yearly since 1998.