Tiger mauls Indonesian palm oil plantation worker to death

Pekanbaru (Indonesia) (AFP) - A Sumatran tiger has mauled an Indonesian palm oil plantation worker to death, officials said Thursday, the latest in a string of deadly conflicts between humans and animals blamed on rampant deforestation.

Tiger mauls Indonesian palm oil plantation worker to death

Tiger mauls Indonesian palm oil plantation worker to death

Jumiatik, 30, was found dead at the plantation in Riau province on Sumatra island Wednesday with horrific bite wounds on her neck and legs, police said.

The victim, who like many Indonesians went by one name, was collecting data on pests with two female colleagues before the tiger appeared and chased the trio some 200 metres (655 feet) through the plantation.

Her two workmates, who survived the brutal attack, told authorities they tried to evade the animal by scrambling up oil palm trees, but the tiger latched onto Jumiatik's leg and dragged her to the ground.

"Jumiatik struggled with the tiger for about 15 minutes," local police chief Iptu Rafi told AFP.

"(She) suffered serious injuries on parts of her neck and was eventually killed."

There have been several cases in recent years of tigers killing people in Indonesia, where logging of rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations is destroying animals' habitat and bringing them into closer contact with humans.

Last month, a pregnant elephant was found dead at another palm oil plantation on Sumatra, in what authorities suspect was a deliberate poisoning after the elephant ate farmers' fertiliser.

Sumatran tigers are considered critically endangered by protection group the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with 400 to 500 remaining in the wild.

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