Tigers Maul Man To Death, Traps 5 Others In Tree

Tigers Maul Man To Death, Traps 5 Others In Tree

Tigers Maul Man To Death, Traps 5 Others In Tree

A group of six Indonesian men were attacked by several tigers on Thursday, forcing five of the men to climb a tree, where they've remained since.

The sixth man was mauled to death after the branch he used to try and escape the angry animals snapped.

The men were looking for rare agarwood used to make incense and perfume and accidentally caught a tiger cub in a trap they were using to catch deer for food, said district police chief Lt. Col. Dicky Sondani.

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

There was concern however that the weak men could fall out of the trees due to starvation, leading to further fatalities but the group survived on rainwater during their ordeal. 

The rescue effort, which involved 30 people, took so long because the incident happened in a remote area of Mount Leuser National Park in Indonesia, a protected wildlife sanctuary that spans 7,900sq km.

First Lt. Surya Purba said three tamers managed to drive the tigers away before the men who were in weak condition were evacuated from trees in the protected Mount Leuser National Park in Tamiang, an Aceh district neighboring with North Sumatra province.

There were seven tigers wandering around the trees but four left before the rescuers arrived, he said.

The rescue team of soldiers, policemen and conservationists was sent after villagers failed to reach the men because of the tigers.

Besides Sumatran tigers, Leuser 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.

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