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Rare Sumatran tiger kills a cocoa farmer in Indonesia's Aceh province where shrink

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — A rare Sumatran tiger has mauled a cocoa farmer to death in Indonesia's province of Aceh, a conservationist and witnesses said Thursday.

The mangled body of Cut Hasan was found Wednesday in a mountainous area about 12 miles (20 kilometers) away from his plantation in Pucok village, said Abubakar Cekmad, head of the local conservation agency. The area is on the northern tip of Sumatra island, where about 150 Sumatran tigers still live in the wild.

The 48-year-old Hasan reportedly disappeared Monday while working on his plantation, and many villagers have been searching for him since, said the village head Muhammad Sabi Basyah.

"We found his body in bad condition," Basyah said, adding that the beast had crushed parts of his thigh, head and stomach.

About a dozen people have been killed in Indonesia since November by tigers and elephants in Sumatran provinces of Aceh, Jambi and Riau.

This surge in confrontations between man and beast is blamed on rapidly shrinking forest habitat in the vast tropical archipelago where several species of rare mammals are facing extinction. As their habitats diminish, many animals roam into villages or onto plantations in search of food, setting off conflicts with humans.