Endangered Sumatran tigers kill Indonesian farmers

Jakarta, Indonesia (AP) — Rare Sumatran tigers increasingly
under threat as their jungle habitat shrinks have been blamed for
deadly attacks on three Indonesian farmers, including the mauling
of a father and son while they slept, officials said Friday.

The bodies were discovered over the past week within a 25-mile
(40-kilometer) range on Jambi province, Sumatra, police chief Tedjo
Dwikora said. A 58-year-old father and his 21-year-old son were
attacked in their sleep Wednesday in a hut near their village,
while another man’s body was found a week earlier in a nearby
village, he said.

Two old tigers known to roam the area are believed to have
carried out the killings, said local conservationist Didy
Wurdjanto.

Fewer than 700 Sumatran tigers remain worldwide, according to
estimates. The endangered animals are being forced to venture
beyond traditional hunting grounds as rampant illegal logging, land
clearing and commercial development eats into their jungle habitat.
They are also threatened by poaching for the lucrative animal
trade.

Only 20 such tigers still live in Sumatra’s Jambi province on
impoverished Indonesia’s westernmost island, once a wildlife
heartland.

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