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21 February 2024

Sumatran tigers kill six people in Indonesia

A male Sumatran tiger in the wild (SUPPLIED)

By Reuters

Endangered Sumatran tigers have killed six people in Indonesia's Jambi province since early February, including three illegal loggers in the most recent attacks, a conservation official said on Monday.

Authorities had trapped a female tiger believed to be behind three killings earlier this month in the area in eastern Sumatra, but the capture had not stopped the latest killings, said Didy Wurjanto, head of the Jambi nature conservation agency.

On Sunday, a tiger attacked and killed a man carrying logs near an illegal logging camp, Wurjanto said. Two other loggers in the same area were mauled and killed on Saturday.

Preliminary findings suggested the attacks were taking place because people were disturbing the habitat of the tigers, Wurjanto said.

"It is not common for tigers to attack humans, especially in Jambi," Wurjanto said, noting that forest rangers had been deployed to try and find the tiger or tigers.

The Sumatran tiger is the most critically endangered of the world's tiger subspecies.

Forest clearances, killings due to human-tiger conflict, and illegal hunting for the trade in their parts, have led to tiger numbers halving to an estimated 400-500 on the Indonesian island from an estimated 1,000 in the 1970s, conservationists said.