Quarterly news from Sumatra


While the management of the Forest for Children association is located in Costa Rica to create, in cooperation with Leonel Alonso Delgado Pereira, an offshoot of the association called Bosque para los Niños and parallel projects Green Life Costa Rica and Blue Life Costa Rica. Meantime in Sumatra, Zbyněk Hrábek, the Indonesian organization Yayasan Hutan Untuk Anak, and the anti-poaching patrols Green Patrol and Blue Patrol continue long-standing projects of the same name in the rainforest of the Leuser ecosystem and in the Pulau Banyak archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

So what’s the news going on there? 

One of the biggest project successes is currently stopping a tiger that killed cows between November 2020 and January 2021 in the Bohorok district, including around our neighboring village of Batu Katak. He managed to slaughter 15 cows, and no one believed that his bloody ride could be stopped other than tragically, that someone would kill him, poison him, or that he would be officially caught and translocated. Where, no one knew. All we knew was that we were going to fight to keep him out of the zoo. Zbyněk Hrábek and our entire Sumatran team worked tirelessly to prevent this from happening. In the event of capture, we have proposed the use of a telemetry collar, and after the release of intensive monitoring of its movements, and in case he’s leaving its natural territory of the Rainforest of the Gunung Leuser National Park and its protection zone, including our Green Life Reserve, we will set off an alarm and the call out will be directed towards scaring him off..
We developed a realistically functional plan that needed strong financial start-up support, which we applied for as part of the grant to the Green Line Foundation as part of the IRF membership. However, we could not wait to see if anyone would notice our unique activity, because it was necessary to stop the tiger and save it at the same time. Our team waited hundreds of hours in the field, nightly timid events, monitoring, rain, sleeplessness, as well as the potential risk of a direct confrontation with the king of the forest. The whole mission was accompanied by human misunderstanding, disbelief, questioning and mistrust, which took away our energy, but the hope of saving “our” tiger, on the contrary, recharged us. This beautiful, strong and unique predator was regularly on our reserve and we did not want him to disappear from our area just because farmers cannot take care of their cows, which are tethered in the protection zone of the national park unattended, without anyone caring. The tiger was going there like in to a store. A trapping cage was placed, in vain. Then the second and again in vain. The tiger has shown he’s no fool. However, there was a danger that the next cow would be his last, for we were afraid that people were capable to poison the tiger. The intensity of green patrols increased, and we didn’t know if our rangers could carry more weight. And they did. Zbyněk requested our federal support for the construction of 5-10 cow enclosures, which were gradually being worked on and turned out to work..

Some predicted that the tiger would start hunting during the day when the cows were in the enclosures for the night and it did not happen. Today we have the beginning of April and for 2.5 months there has been no killing of cows by a tiger, which can be considered a real victory for Zbyňek Hrábek and our team , that is, all of us who support this unique way of protecting the Sumatran tigers. You could say that this is the first major tiger rescue that has exceeded all possibilities, because few believed it. As they say, never say never! Success.

The Green Patrol team also continues to monitor the Eye of the Tiger and, of course, to care for the reserve, maintenance of campsites, cutting paths, and is now demolishing the old Cottage “French” to gradually transfer suitable material for use in the reconstruction of the cottage “Čolese”, which will become a guard post; they are waiting for the rough work of transporting heavy material in difficult terrain.

In the mean future, Zbyněk Hrábek also focused on the Blue Life project,where we were forced to repair all the cottages of the volunteer beach camp , because they were eaten by termites after a year of inactivity.

There was basically a complete reconstruction that we had to do from the project finances, because most blue life members were going through an economic crisis covid period and we thought we’d let them breathe in and do it ourselves. An incredible job was done by our Blue Patrol team, who were given an unequivocal task, and that was to save Blue Life Camp. This great and costly task has also been accomplished, and our project island paradise is alive. In addition, it is still possible to financially support our Indonesian colleague Rius in his children’s education program at a time when schools are closed and it is working. 
What has failed so far is to complete the international nonprofit Forest for Children, because of covid measures are throwing us under the bus, just like the Indonesian government, which is changing laws that restrict the activities and emergence of international nonprofits. We have to wait. Our legal team is working on it!
On the contrary, cooperation with universities is finally starting to move, which is good news and, above all, one of the very important ways to change social habits, especially in relation to wildlife.

Finally, proof that the whole tiger mission is working, because at the last monitoring, our amazing tiger male appeared in front of the trail camara, which became a concern of the neighborhood, but we know it’s different. As long as the tiger has enough feral pigs, sambar deer in the forest, until then it does not need to leave its safe territories and hunt cows. This is our great ongoing mission to point local people against poaching and show them that poachers end up robbing them all, not just tigers, of their natural prey.

Despite the fact that our project wings are stretching to other countries, Green Life and Blue Life in Sumatra will always be the top of our unique journey, which is supported by people precisely because it makes sense to everyone.

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Thank you for any financial support.