Rare Sumatran tiger kills Indonesia farmer: villagers

A Sumatran tiger has killed a cocoa farmer in Indonesia, villagers claimed Wednesday, in the latest apparent attack by the rare wild cat as its habitat is rapidly cleared for plantations.

The body of Karman Lubis, 32, was found decapitated around one kilometre (0.6 miles) from a cocoa plantation on Sumatra island at 02:00 on Tuesday (1900 GMT Monday), while his head was found hours later in another area, a relative said.

Lubis' right hand was still missing, Amiruddin Nasution added, saying he was likely attacked by a tiger sighted days earlier near their village of Rantau Panjang, adjacent to the Batang Gadis National Park on the island's north.

A national park office staff member said there were no witnesses to confirm a tiger was to blame.

"Given the body's condition, he could have been attacked by a bear, a clouded leopard or a tiger," said the staff member, who declined to be named.

The Sumatran tiger is the world's smallest tiger and is critically endangered, with only an estimated 400 to 500 alive on the Indonesian island.

Rampant deforestation and poaching have led to a decrease in the number of Sumatran tigers, experts say.

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