The reporting on this situation in Sumatra is almost completely human-centric. Some men ventured into Sumatran tiger habitat to trap deer. They accidentally caught a Sumatran tiger cub, which they killed.
Sumatran tigers are critically endangered with only about 300-350 remaining in the wild. That is, they are on the brink of extinction.
You would think these men could respect the fragility of life for Sumatran tigers and stay out of their habitats. A number of tigers treed the men and then circled the base of the tree where the hunters remained for several days. They did not have food, and needed to be rescued. Eventually, they were found and transported out of the area.
Of course it is very sad that one of the men died. It goes without saying that the hunters should not have been in the critically endangered habitat in the first place. The man did not deserve to die for this bad behavior, but neither did the tiger cub. It should be noted the wild tigers had the good sense to stay out of human habitat and leave humans alone, but the men did not. Not only did their actions result in a death of one of their party, but the
death of a wild tiger cub as well.
Additionally, much press favoring the humans has been published. These stories have the situation backwards, because it is Sumatran tigers that are greatly threatened by human activity, not the other way around.
Recently, it was discovered that these few remaining tigers way of life is threatened by human presences:
“Tigers are not only threatened by habitat loss from deforestation and poaching; they are also very sensitive to human disturbance,” said one of the researchers, called Sunarto, (a native of Indonesia, where people typically have one name). “They cannot survive in areas without adequate understory, but they are also threatened in seemingly suitable forests when there is too much human activity.” (Source: Wildlife Extra)
The human population of Sumatra is about 50 million and thirty years ago it was just 20 million. Fifty million people to 350 tigers is hardly fair and the tigers can’t simply relocate on their own because Sumatra is an island.
When the men killed the tiger cub they also extinguished the chance for it to have its own cubs.