Sumatran tiger's leg broken, then trapped and die

EoF News / 06 October 2010

PEKANBARU (EoF News)— A Sumatran tiger that last month believed attacking a palm oil farmer to death in Riau province eventually also died last week (Thursday, 30/09/2010), only four hours after being caught by villagers that supervised by   Natural Resources Conservancy Main Agency of Riau Office (BBKSDA) and nongovernmental organization YPHS (Yayasan Pelestarian Harimau Sumatra, Sumatran tiger conservation foundation).

BBKSDA planned to investigate the death of the male tiger, with 1.5 meter length, amid controversies on the matter marred in media recently, media reports said. 

The dead tiger was believed mauling Sugianto, 35, a palm oil farmer in Tanjung Leban village two weeks ago (20/9/2010), right inside a pulpwood concession of PT Sakato Pratama Makmur, an affiliated company to Sinar Mas’ Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). 

The location of incident also sits inside buffer zone of UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve of Giam Siak Kecil – Bukit Batu that declared in 2009. The tiger found dead in dusun Air Bukit Sembilan of Tanjung Leban village on 11 p.m. on 30 September.

It is the second bloody human-tiger encounter in two consecutive months as in August a young rubber farmer was attacked to death by a Sumatran tiger in Senepis peat forest block, just 1.8 km away off PT Ruas Utama Jaya, another APP/Sinar Mas pulpwood supplier.

Initial reports quoted Trisnu Danisworo, Head of BBKSDA Riau, saying that the wound on tiger’s back leg had been longtime due to trap or sling made to catch him. 

Bastoni of YPHS, which recently declared collaboration with Sinar Mas Forestry in Sumatra tiger conservation in Senepis block, said that the tiger could be disable as the hind broken since one to two months ago, reported last weekend (02/10/2010).

While, WWF Indonesia’s Tiger Patrol Unit (TPU), which collected data and observed on the spot said the tiger has got broken leg with fresh wound, as believed it is caused by metal sling that trapped him recently.

*Crash Image*

Head of Village said that residents of Dumai town who came to set up sling to catch the male tiger. Osmantri Abeng, WWF Indonesia’s TPU coordinator, said that further investigation needed whether the tiger’s leg found broken due to sling set up by poachers or villagers. 

He also questioned the absence of a professional veterinarian during the catching and evacuation which made the operation failed to reach the standard operation procedure that applied by conservationists.

Danisworo told Antara News Agency last week that the young tiger died inside trap box after being caught by BBKSDA and YPHS on Thursday evening in Bukit Batu sub-district. 

The official said that his team have identified that the tiger suffered infection on its wounded back leg and the team awaited the next day to cure the injury. 

“Our staffs have just recognized the tiger had died in the morning,” said Danisworo. He suspected the tiger suffered infected wound on its back leg since long time ago. “That wound seemingly is caused by a trap and it’s been long time, so it’s not dead because we mishandled the catching procedure,” the Head of BBKSDA argued.

The Agency performed an autopsy on Saturday following evacuation from Tanjung Leban village to Pekanbaru. 

Antara reported that Sinar Mas Forestry admitted that the human-tiger conflict broke out in the buffer zone of UNESCO Giam Siak Kecil Man & Biosphere or inside APP pulpwood supplier. The area now claimed by the locals as theirs and cultivated for palm oil plantation, said Nurul Huda, SMF spokesperson.

EoF learned that Forestry Law year 1999 obliged concession holders of production forest to be responsible in securing their areas from any illegal activities.

Walhi Riau accused Sinar Mas of destroying Giam Siak Kecil and Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve as many pulpwood concession holders of the company continued clearcutting natural forest in the peatlands. Therefore, human – Sumatran tiger conflict broke out recently which located only seven kilometers away from core zone of the Biosphere Reserve, Walhi Riau’s Director Executive Hariansyah Usman said. 

Farmer attacked by Sumatran tiger