New Delhi: A critically endangered Sumatran tiger was disemboweled and then hung from the ceiling by villagers in a remote Indonesian community after it attacked a pair of locals.
Human-animal conflicts are rampant in the vast Southeast Asian archipelago, especially in areas where the clearing of rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations is destroying animals' habitats and bringing them into closer contact with people.
Initially believing the tiger to be a 'supernatural creature', locals from Hatupangan village in North Sumatrafollowed the big cat to its jungle lair, as per a conservation official.
On Sunday, the tiger – which has been seen around the village since last month – attacked the curious group and seriously injured two villagers.
Later, despite warnings by conservation officials to not harm the big cat, the villagers announced plans to kill the animal.
"Unfortunately they would not listen. They insisted on killing the tiger," said local conservation agency head Hotmauli Sianturi, adding that a conservation officer was blocked from preventing the death.
"After killing the animal, the locals hung up its body for display. It's very regrettable."
Some internal organs were missing from the tiger's body, said authorities, who are investigating the killing.
Sumatran tigers are considered critically endangered by protection group the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with 400 to 500 remaining in the wild.
(With AFP inputs)