TEMPO.CO, Lubukbasung, West Sumatra - The Agam Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) has installed two wild tiger cage traps in areas where several Sumatran tigers recently snatched two buffaloes in Tigo Balai Village, Matur Sub-district, Agam District, West Sumatra Province.
The first cage trap with a length of two meters and width of 90 centimeters was installed in an area where a buffalo of Rajo Bentan,50, a resident of Jorong Cubadak Lilin Hamlet, was snatched on April 16, Head of BKSDA-Agam Office Ade Putra said.
The second one was installed in the area where a buffalo of Datuak Bagindo,50, a resident of Jorong Sari Bulan Hamlet of Tigo Balai Village, was attacked by the tigers on April 15, he said in a statement that ANTARA quoted here Sunday.
"Each of the tiger cage trap is filled with a goat as a bait. And, the wildlife rangers observe the two traps every morning for a week. They also conduct a routine patrol at night," he said.
If the wild tigers could be caught, they agency's officers would firstly observe the captive tigers' health condition before releasing them into their natural habitat, Putra said.
One of the two snatched buffaloes was devoured while the other one got wounded, he said, adding that the wild tigers had repeatedly attacked local villagers' buffaloes over the past few months.
On April 12, Eka, 35, a resident of Kota Rantang Village in Palupuah Sub-district, Agam District, also reported that three wild Sumatran tigers had repeatedly trespassed into the village's farmland, 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 said.
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, Eka said.
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 had instilled a sense of fear among the villagers and prevented them from venturing into their agricultural areas, Eka noted.
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.