Fresh human-tiger conflict breaks out near APP’s subsidiary site

EoF News / 16 May 2012

EoF News (PEKANBARU) — Deforestation that conducted by Asia Pulp & Paper affiliated companies continue to indirectly cause suffering to people and wildlife as a fresh human-tiger conflict occurred in APP’s concession last week.

A corn farmer, Arifin bin Ripet (27), was attacked by a Sumatran tiger, last week (8 May) in Parit Setia Maju sub-village of Pulau Muda village of Teluk Meranti, Pelalawan district. The location is only 700 meter away from PT Arara Abadi, a timber supplier and subsidiary of APP in Kerumutan forest block.

Arifin suffered wounds in left thigh, left arm and legs where seven stitches made due to the injuries. The farmer succeeded to survive after he fought and held up the tiger’s head. The coming of his father and neighbour helping him from more attacks from trapped tiger who then ran away despite a cut of sling snare left on his leg, witnesses said.

EoF source said that the Sumatran tiger was trapped last Monday with a sling prepared to capture wild boar in the corn farm that set up by Nawe, another farmer and neigbour of Arifin and Ripet.

When Nawe, Arifin and Ripet separately checked out the snare that moved away on Tuesday morning, suddenly a Sumatran tiger mauled Arifin frombushes where it hid.

In its APP default on environmental covenant report, EoF revealed that HCVF in Pulau Muda forest management units, including in concessions of PT Arara Abadi Pulau Muda, PT Satria Perkasa Agung KTH Sinar Merawang, and PT SPA Pulau Muda, was clearcut. Not far away from PT Arara Abadi concession, a footprint of Sumatran tiger spotted, the investigation disclosed.

The location of fresh conflict is also close to the footprint found by EoF. The villagers of Pulau Muda said that presence of Sumatran tigers were recognized since the natural forest massively clearcut by APP’s PT Arara Abadi and its affiliates.

There were no attention and response shown by the timber company following the incident despite residents claimed that the snare used was one that ever applied by PT Arara Abadi to secure their pulpwood plantation from wild animals.

Trisno, a staff of Communications Dept at Pelalawan District Government, said that forest in Pulau Muda was  due to forest clearcutting by industrial timber plantation companies, Antarariau reported last week.

“Due to the forest loss, normally the tigers will stray to surrounding of residents’ houses,” Trisno said.

Muslim Rasyid, Jikalahari NGOs network’s coordinator, said that as long as APP still pulped the Sumatran tiger forest such as in Kerumutan and Senepis, therefore human-tiger conflicts would continue.

“Its commitment to protect forest is questionable due to evidences from the field confirm otherwise,” he said. “Not much natural forests left in Riau, so APP and APRIL should stop clearcutting them today as we are fed up with their green washing.”