Medan, N Sumatra, (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Forum for Environment (Walhi) has called for protection of Sumatran tiger or Panthera Tigris Sumatrae and called on the people to not hunt it.

"Protecting Sumatran tiger is not only the responsibility of the government but also the people," the executive director of Walhi North Sumatra, Dana Prima Tarigan, said here on Saturday.

She said tigers that entered neighborhoods must not be hurt or killed, adding that the animal had done it because their habitat has been damaged by the irresponsible people.

She said the killing of a tiger that recently entered Bangkelang village in the district of Mandailing Natal, North Sumatra, must never happen again.

She explained many forest areas in North Sumatra especially in Mandailing Natal that have so far been the habitat of Sumatran tigers have been made into oil palm plantations by businessmen threatening the existence of Sumatran tiger.

The government must launch a strong protest to businessmen that have changed the forest into oil palm plantations, she said, adding that the ministry of environmental affairs must give no permit for the opening of forest area for oil palm plantations.

"The government must protect the tiger due to illegal hunting activities and killings of the animal that enter neighborhoods," she said.

Source: ANTARA News