Sumatran tigers may go extinct in 10 years

May 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM

JAKARTA, May 11 (UPI) -- Conservationists said the critically endangered Sumatran tiger may go extinct from the Jambi province on Sumatra, Indonesia, in a decade.

There are between 250 and 300 of the massive orange and black striped cats living in the wild in the region and that number is shrinking due to deforestation taking away habitats, said Rakhmad Hidayat, director of a local environmental group Warsi.

Most of the tigers live in Indonesia's Kerinci Seblat National Park but some of the cats have come into contact with villagers, a sign the animals are becoming more used to human presence -- and that their own habitats are disappearing.

Two encounters between the tigers and humans -- one that killed a person -- have been recorded in the last year, the Jakarta Globe said Saturday. Other tigers have died when they came into contact with electric fences.

"The current arbitrary management of the region's natural resources has not only sparked conflict among communities, but also poses a serious threat to the local wildlife," Rakhmad said.

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