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Indonesian men trapped in tree by tiger for five days rescued

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Sumatran tigers are extremely rare. Only 350 remain in the wild. (Photo credit: Brimack / Flickr)

Men marooned in a tree by a group of bloodthirsty Sumatran tigers since Thursday were finally rescued this morning.

Six Indonesian men ventured into the jungle last week to collect a rare incense wood. They set up deer traps for food, but accidentally caught a Sumatran tiger cub, says the BBC. The wounded baby animal alerted nearby adult tigers, who pounced on and killed one of the group, a 28-year-old named David.

The remaining men scrambled up some branches, where they called villagers on their cell phones. A 30-person rescue crew entered the 3,060-square-mile national forest on Saturday, on foot, and didn’t expect to find the stranded incense-gatherers until Wednesday.

But rescuers arrive today and, with help from tamers, drove the snarling tigers away and helped the men down, ending their five-day ordeal.

“People keep entering the jungle to look for the wood because it’s very expensive,” Police Chief Dicky Sondani tells BBC. “But that’s the risk: There are many tigers and elephants in Gunung Leuser jungle.”

Sumatran tigers are the smallest of their kind and critically endangered. They’re found only on that island. Researchers count only 350 left in the wild and another 361 in zoos all over the world, according to the Tiger Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to their preservation.

These tigers often prey on deer, but the larger the prey, the better. The 250-pound feline predators can slay animals weighing up to a ton, says Tiger Trust.

h/t Gawker

Find Jennifer Wadsworth on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

Categories: General
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