JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Frightened villagers have trapped a rare Sumatran tiger they believe killed four people last year, and officials Saturday were awaiting money for tranquilizer darts so they could transport it to a zoo.
While some villagers has asked police to kill the Sumatran tiger, Indonesia's last surviving tiger species, the animal is protected under Indonesian law because of its endangered status.
Residents of the village of Fajar Bulan on the island of Sumatra, about 190 miles northwest of Jakarta, captured the wild tiger Thursday in a nearby jungle by ensnaring its left leg with a lasso-like trap, police Lt. Suharto said.
The tiger was being held Saturday until local officials could buy tranquilizer darts to subdue the animal and take it to a zoo, police said.
Three of the four victims in last year's tiger attacks were plantation workers, the Indonesian Observer reported. A fourth was a farmer who was mauled to death by a tiger soon after a herd of wild elephants trampled through his rice fields.
Suharto said police still had not established whether the tiger trapped Thursday had attacked anyone.
Deforestation is a major problem in Sumatra, where wildfires raged last year and forced normally timid wildlife into populated areas.
The World Wide Fund for Nature has estimated that just 500 Sumatran tigers remain on the island.