KOMPAS.com – It was a close call for five men who endured three hours of being trapped atop a tree not knowing when their captor, a Sumatran tiger, would end its stakeout down below.
Their ordeal in the Indonesian province of Aceh June 18 is the latest in a string of conflicts between the endangered species and humans encroaching on their habitat.
A chance encounter in the forest
Police spokesman Hendra Sukmana said the tiger attacked Roy Mansyah, Ahyar Madani, Edo Pratama, Agung Prasetyo, and Edi Prawoto as they were extracting gum resin in the Tenggulun Forest Reserve in Aceh.
“They encountered the tiger as they headed back to their motorcycles at 5.30 in the evening. The big cat was only 30 meters from them,” said Hendra. “They managed to hide, but the big cat still managed to seek them out. They then threw stones at the tiger, but it failed to drive him away.”
Climbing for their lives
“The tiger forced the five to clamber up the gum tree from which they have been trying to extract,” said Hendra, as quoted by the Tribunnews agency last Friday. “Their panic heightened as the big cat waited for them at the base of the tree for three hours.”
Hendra added that one of the men contacted villagers on his mobile phone, who in turn contacted the police.