EoF News (PEKANBARU) — Human and Sumatran tiger conflicts are escalating in Riau province in recent months as two endangered species were found dead by snares and a teenager laborer attacked to death by a tiger in three separate incidents.
Mestina Nduru, a 15 year-old girl, was found dead in palm oil plantation in Siambul village, Indragiri Hulu district, last Friday (13 July) after being attacked by a Sumatran tiger (panthera tigris sumatrae) as she had got some wounds on her hands, legs, neck, and head.
The teenager, Mestina, is a plantation worker for PT Seberida Subur, a subsidiary of Duta Palma group. She is just a child whom is not allowed to be hired as the existing Law stipulates.
The incident location is just 2.7 kilometer away from Bukit Tigapuluh National Park. In separate places, within two months, two Sumatran tiger were found dead after being trapped by snares prepared by farmers to catch wild boars, WWF-Indonesia’s Tiger Patrol Unit said.
The first conflict broke out in Pasir Limau Kapas village in Rokan Hilir district as a joint team led by BBKSDA Riau had found bones and skin of dead tiger were separately buried by the village’s top officials on 22 June. The tiger was trapped by snares installed by villagers and the dead tiger was skinned and cut down by the village’s officials.
A joint team led by Riau’s Natural Resources and Conservation Agency (BBKSDA) finally dig them out, identified the tiger and seize the parts of body and its skin, four days after they were buried.
The latest incident killing a tiger took place in Bukit Betabuh protection forest which is administratively part of Pesajian village of Pauh Ranap, Indragiri district, on the first week of July. A female Sumatran tiger was killed by snares installed by farmers planned to catch wild boar and deer.
From May to July this year there are 3 tigers died after being trapped by snares and one woman dies, and two men are wounded due to the escalating human-tiger conflicts, EoF learns.
Marga Situmorang and Darto Harmono Manulang were men who prepared 10 snares as they installed them on 30 June in effort to catch wild boar and deer, the Tiger and Patrol Unit said. Bukit Betabuh hit by encroachment that conducted by migrants mostly from North Sumatra.
Then Harmono realized that his snare had trapped a Sumatran tiger on 5 July where the sling was cut out by the endangered species.
When he looked for other snares, he just found a tiger screaming at him in a distance and then he ran away and came home. One day after the shocking experience, Darto told his colleagues that a tiger trapped by their snares.
On 7 July the tiger was finally found dead as the perpetrators were late to inform the TPU team of the incident. The dead body of tiger now is under custody of BBKSDA Riau, the Natural Resources Conservation Agency in here.
The spot of incident is inside Bukit Betabuh protected forest that encircled by palm oil plantation and pulpwood plantations of APP and APRIL. Bukit Betabuh forest hit by encroachment that conducted by migrants mostly from North Sumatra and there is no significant law enforcement implemented, EoF learns.
EoF understands that there is no further investigation conducted due to the death of the tigers that caused by snare trap yet, either occurred in Pasir Limau Kapas, Bukit Betabuh or Pulau Muda.
Muslim Rasyid, the coordinator of Jikalahari, Riau NGOs network to save natural forest, urged BBKSDA Riau to investigate any human-tiger conflicts whether the trap installments were on the purpose or just target wild boars and deers.
“Natural forest shrinkage due to massive conversion to plantations in the province had caused the loss of habitats for the wildlife that are extremely threatened today and incite more conflicts,” he added. “Therefore the Government, companies, communities and civil society group should work together to solve the problems.”
The victim of human-tiger conflict in PT Seberida Subur palm oil plantation, Mestina, lives in housing complex of the company. Before she was attacked by the tiger, she was working in the afternoon in the plantation.
Mestina was dragged away 100 meter to a small valley and her wounded body was found dead by her co-workers one hour after the incident.
Ani Waruhu, 35, her stepmother, is the one who worked with her at that time, could only screamed for a help, but no one heard. The location is around 1.5 kilometer away from the housing of plantation.
Residents near the plantations said that they had seen the tiger straying in the area and gobbling chickens belonging to them for recent three months. They had told the company, but the management did not respond such a complaint.
On 8 May, a corn farmer, Arifin bin Ripet (27), was wounded after he was mauled by a Sumatran tiger 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.
Sources said that the Sumatran tiger was trapped few days before with a sling prepared to capture wild boar in the corn farm that set up by a neigbour of the victim.
Video camera trap of Sumatran tiger