Hunting Pigs in the Forest of South Sumatra

Hunting Pigs in the Forest of South SumatraSulaiman (34) and his five friends are busy preparing ropes, wire meshes, wooden bars, and knives for hunting wild pigs. Tuesday (24/2) that afternoon, residents of Leban Akar, Talang Kelapa, Banyuasin, South Sumatra, is also complete luggage with food and clothing as perfection to survive in the forest.

After all was ready, Sulaiman entered the house, met his wife and two small children. Kito nak jingok entered the forest first. This month is a good ni skill when you hunt a pig. Doanyo bae man kito is back six (we went to the forest first, this is a good season for wild boar hunting, pray for us to go home safely), Sulaiman said after kissing his wife and children's forehead.

In one hunt, Sulaiman could spend up to seven days. With such a span of time, he and his entourage usually catch at least 10 pigs.

They hunted the animals not for consumption, but to eradicate the agro-business pests destroyer in his village. But, the animal can be sold to collectors who come from the city of Palembang, said Sulaiman.

One adult pig tail weighing 80-90 kilograms is usually sold for Rp 300,000 to Rp 400,000. So, the more pigs we can catch, the bigger the money will be. For nearly four years of hunting, my entourage has captured over 300 wild boars, Sulaiman said.

During their time in the forest, pig hunters live in wooden huts that have been built and prepared before. In order not to touch with others, they usually have a certain hunting ground.

Full of risk

Hunting pigs is not a job without risk. Once inside the forest, they have to survive and face the rigors of wildlife life.

According to Tarto (32), hunters from the village of Sungai Rengit, Pangkalan Balai, in addition to avoiding the threat of poisonous snakes and swamp crocodiles, he also must be careful when trying to catch a boar. Two years ago I was once pigeoned as he led her into a noose. At that time my femur was broken so it was difficult to walk for six months, he said.

Most hunters, according to Tarto and Sulaiman, have almost the same way of operating. First of all, five hunters and five dogs spread in one area to put a trap at various angles that were thought to be the path of the pigs. After sniffing the existence of pigs, dogs will usually bark. Instantly the group of pigs startled and ran. That's when the hunter led his quarry into the snare.

A group of boars consists of five to six tails. Of that number, at least one or two caught. After that, we wait again, Tarto's story.For the citizens and government of Banyuasin Regency and other districts in South Sumatra, wild pigs are the most difficult agricultural pests to eradicate. The scale of the damage caused by pests is also widespread, resulting in material losses are not small.

Destructive

According to data from the Agriculture and Estate Crops Office of South Sumatra, wild boar pests attack and destroy more than 300 hectares of oil palm, rubber and corn, during January-February 2009. The concern is that 70 percent of the land or gardens destroyed belong to smallholders, while the rest belongs to the company or private corporation.

Head of South Sumatera Provincial Agriculture Office Dharmansyah estimates that the material losses suffered by farmers reach hundreds of millions of rupiah. Location of the worst attack in Musi Banyuasin, Lahat, Musi Rawas, and Banyuasin. During January-February 2009, three wounded residents were recorded, two planters from Musi Banyuasin and a corn farmer in Musi Rawas.

To help people ward off pest attacks, Dharmansyah said, since the end of 2008 until the beginning of this year the government has distributed more than 500 free pig snares to hundreds of farmers in South Sumatra.

Such attention should be appreciated. But, it should be remembered also that the animal is still needed to maintain a harmony environment. (Boni Dwi Pramudyanto)

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