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FLORA AND FAUNA
Rare tiger dies after Indonesia flight switch
by Staff Writers
Banda Aceh, Indonesia (AFP) Oct 4, 2012


A rare Sumatran tiger has died after his transport to an Indonesia park was aborted and he was put on a second flight because plane passengers complained about the smell, an official said.

The eight-year-old big cat was being sent with other animals on a commercial flight Tuesday from Banda Aceh in the northern tip of Sumatra island to a conservation centre on Java island.

But during a scheduled stopover in Medan, Sumatra, the national carrier Garuda Indonesia decided to unload the animals and fly them back to Banda Aceh, citing passengers' complaints about unpleasant odors, said provincial conservation agency chief Afan Absory on Thursday.

"When the tiger arrived in Banda Aceh on the same day, we found out that it was already dead," he told AFP. The tiger was flying alongwith a gibbon and two bearcats, which have a distinctive smell.

"We are seeking clarification from the airline as they returned the tiger to Banda Aceh without informing our official who was flying with them," added Absory, who said he found blood coming out of the animal's nose.

The airline could not be reached for comment.

The male tiger had been rescued in 2010 from a forest in Aceh province where it was threatened by human encroachment on its territory.

There are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild and environmental activists say the animals are increasingly coming into conflict with people as their natural habitat is rapidly deforested.

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Since the Victorian era, categorizing the natural world has challenged scientists. No group has presented a challenge as tricky as the protists, the tiny, complex life forms that are neither plants nor animals. A new reclassification of eukaryotic life forms, published in the Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, draws together the latest research to clarify the current state of protist diversity ... read more


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