TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - As many as three wild Sumatran tigers have repeatedly trespassed into the farmland of Kota Rantang Village in Palupuah Sub-district, Agam District, West Sumatra Province, and attacked the cattle.
"The wild tigers comprise one adult and two young ones. They caught hold of two goats while roaring around the farmland," Eka, 35, a resident of Kota Rantang, stated on Monday.
The goats, owned by a villager identified as Rasik, 60, were snatched and devoured by the tigers while grazing in a farmland, about a kilometer away from the village, he revealed.
The Sumatran tigers (Pantera Tigris Sumatrae) that have been spotted in the village's farmland over these past two months also attacked a dog of a villager, according to Eka.
The recurrent tiger sightings around the village's farmland and woods have instilled a sense of fear among the villagers and prevented them from venturing into their agricultural areas, he noted.
The villagers accustomed to looking for firewood in a forest near the village often observed the Sumatran tigers' footprints on their jungle tracks, he stated.
Meanwhile, Bukittinggi City's Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) has received the Kota Rantang Villagers' reports on the tiger sightings and the snatched goats.
"We are following up the reports today by checking the area where the tigers had frequently been sighted," the agency's head, Vera Ciko, stated.
Before installing some wild tiger traps, the agency's wildlife rangers will firstly attempt to drive the wild tigers out of the farmland, according to Ciko.
In March, the agency's wildlife rangers had also driven out the tigers that had grabbed three of the Tigo Balai Village in Matur Sub-district, she remarked.
ANTARA noted that in Indonesia, Sumatran tigers (Pantera Tigris Sumatrae) 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 tiger species, are currently critically endangered and 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 owing 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.