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. Tiger kills ninth man in Indonesia: official

Man crushed to death in Indonesia elephant stampede
A 83-year-old man was crushed to death by a herd of wild elephants on Indonesia's Sumatra island Wednesday, a local official said, the latest in a string of human-animal conflicts on the edge of the island's dwindling forests. The herd of elephants trampled the man as they thundered through a village in Bengkalis district in Riau province, local conservation agency head Martono told AFP. "Around 30 elephants roaming in the area surrounded the man and trampled him until his body was torn to pieces," Martono said. "The man was visiting his family in the village and wasn't accustomed to these kinds of attacks," he said, adding the man's son escaped the herd and witnessed his father's being killed. Conflicts between wild animals and humans are on the rise on Sumatra, where legal and illegal logging is rapidly reducing the tropical jungle. Nine people have been killed by tigers there in the last five weeks. The number of Sumatran elephants is also declining, with only 2,440 to 3,350 left in the wild, according to environmental group WWF.
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) March 4, 2009
A tiger mauled to death an illegal logger on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, an official said Wednesday, the ninth such death in the last five weeks.

The man, killed on Tuesday night in Jambi province, is the latest victim in a string of attacks that also claimed the lives of two illegal loggers on Sunday, provincial conservation agency head Didi Wuryanto told AFP.

"The village head told me that a group of illegal loggers wanted to secretly transport the victim's body out of the forest. They didn't want to be caught breaking the law," Wuryanto said.

Villagers have trapped and killed four of the endangered tigers in response to the string of deadly attacks, which conservationists say are largely caused by illegal logging in tiger habitats.

Human-animal conflicts are a rising problem as people encroach on wildlife habitats in Indonesia, an archipelago nation with some of the world's largest remaining tropical forests.

An 83-year-old man was also trampled to death on Wednesday by a herd of around 30 elephants that stormed into a village in neighbouring Riau province, the local conservation agency said.

Wuryanto said provincial authorities met Wednesday to discuss preventive measures aimed at defending villagers and protecting the big cats from human reprisals.

"We won't discuss how to stop tigers from wandering the forests, because that's their habitat, but we need to find immediate solution to avoid more victims," he said.

There are less than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, according to WWF.

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Climate change bad news for most birds: study
Paris (AFP) March 4, 2009
Birds in Europe are already feeling the heat from climate change, with three species suffering reduced ranges or population for every one that benefits from warming, said a study published Wednesday.

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