Indonesians trapped by tigers, search on

2013-07-08 12:00
Sumatran tiger

Sumatran tiger (

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Banda Aceh - Rescuers are searching for five men reportedly trapped in trees by several Sumatran tigers after the angry animals mauled a sixth man to death, police said on Monday.

Local police chief Lieutenant Colonel Dicky Sondani said a 30-member rescue team had been sent to the protected Mount Leuser National Park in Taming, an Aceh district neighbouring with North Sumatra province.

The men were looking for rare agarwood - used to make incense and perfume - and accidently caught a tiger cub in a trap they were using to catch deer for food.

The incident caused five other tigers in the area to attack the men, Sondani said, citing reports from villagers who received mobile phone messages on Thursday from the survivors.

One of the men was mauled to death, while the five others managed to climb into trees, he said.

The rescue team needed three days to reach the rugged terrain area, but they had not located the missing men as of Monday, Sondani said.

"We are worried because they could be weak and fall from the trees due to a lack of food," Sondani said.

Leuser park covers 7 927 square kilometres on the border of North Sumatra and Aceh provinces. Besides Sumatran tigers, the park is home to other protected animals, including orangutans, elephants, rhinos and leopards.

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.

Agarwood is relatively rare and is highly valued for its dark aromatic resin, which is used in incense and perfumes.

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