Rare Sumatran tiger mauls a man to death in Indonesia

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Sumatran tiger Jae Jae is reflected in glass during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

An Indonesian man died after being attacked by a rare Sumatran tiger in a remote village in western Indonesia.

The victim, Yusri, Effendi, a 34-year-old construction worker, was found with life-threatening wounds on Saturday evening after being mauled by the big cat in the Indragiri Hilir district of the Sumatran province of Riau.

According to local police chief Muhammad Rafi, the victim and three of his co-workers had spotted the tiger under a building prior to the attack. The group decided to wait for about two hours before leaving to make sure that the tiger has already left.

However, after walking about 250 meters, they came face to face with the Sumatran tiger. The group ran for safety, but the tiger attacked Effendi. Following the attack, Effendi’s workers and the villagers conducted a search to look for him. He was found unconscious in shrubs located on the edge of the river. Effendi later died of excessive blood loss from a fatal wound around his neck.

“[When] they opened his clothes they saw a gaping wound on his neck,” said the Riau conservation agency in a statement.

Encounters between humans and wild animals are common across Indonesia’s jungles, especially in places where humans clear out portions of forests to make room for palm oil plantations.

The destruction of animals’ habitat brings them into closer contact with people, as animals roam into villages or plantations in search of food. This results in violent encounters that leave casualties on either side.

This is the second deadly attack by a Sumatran tiger this year. In January, a female palm oil plantation worker was mauled to death by a tiger just 12 miles from where Saturday’s attack took place.

The Sumatran tiger is the most critically endangered subspecies of the tiger. Only about 400 remain in the wild due to the destruction of their habitat and poaching.