Local authorities in Indragiri Hilir regency, Riau, have formed a special team to catch a female tiger that has killed two locals in Tanjung Simpang village, Pelangiran district, since January.
The Indragiri Hilir administration decided to form the team in response to local people’s threats to take action if the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) failed to capture the tiger within a week.
“We hope we can soon capture the tiger peacefully so local people can continue their daily activities without fear,” Indragiri Hilir Police chief AKBP Christian Rony Putra said on Thursday.
The team comprises government officials, Indonesian Military and National Police personnel, BKSDA officers and NGO activists, as well as local people and representatives of plantation companies.
The team has erected two camps in Sinar Danau village and in a palm oil plantation owned by PT Tabung Haji Indo Plantation in Tanjung Simpang village, Pelangiran. They have also prepared four snipers to anticipate potential tiger attacks against locals.
BKSDA personnel and conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia activists believe the animal’s behaviour is unusual because tigers are nocturnal and afraid of people. It was further revealed that the tiger was not lured by a goat staked inside a trap.
“We tried to catch the tiger in a box trap, which was equipped with tools containing liquid anesthetics but it didn’t work,” BKSDA head Suharyono said. The team has urged all locals to remain on alert.