Sumatran tiger fatally attacks man in western Indonesia

PEKANBARU, Indonesia — A rare Sumatran tiger fatally attacked a man in the latest human-tiger conflict in a western Indonesian region plagued by widespread deforestation, officials said Sunday.

The victim, Yusri Effendi, a 34-year-old construction worker, was mauled Saturday evening in the Indragiri Hilir district of the Sumatran province of Riau.

Local police chief Muhammad Rafi said the victim and three fellow workers were working when they spotted the tiger under a building. They decided to wait for about two hours until the tiger left.

They later walked about 250 meters (yards) and came face-to-face with the tiger. Rafi said they ran for safety but the tiger attacked Effendi.

A search by fellow workers and villagers found Effendi unconscious in shrubs on the edge of a river, but he died later due to bleeding from a wound on his nape, Rafi said.

He said the location was about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from a palm oil plantation where a female worker was mauled to death in January.

Indonesia is home to some 400 Sumatran tigers, but they are increasingly under threat as their jungle habitat shrinks.

As their habitat diminishes, many of the endangered animals roam into villages or plantations in search of food, setting off conflicts with humans.

Sumatran tigers are the most critically endangered tiger subspecies. About 400 remain, down from 1,000 in the 1970s, because of forest destruction and poaching.

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