POSTED: 5:48 a.m. HST, Nov 2, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 9:56 a.m. HST, Nov 2, 2010
MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia >> Indonesian villagers who fled the now-scorched slopes of a smoldering volcano have another worry: tigers.
Sightings of giant cat pawprints in the thick gray ash blanketing Mount Merapi's slopes Tuesday sparked rumors a tiger or leopard was roaming abandoned farms searching for food.
Ratmo Supomo says he and his wife saw a pawprint the "size of a clenched fist" when they checked on livestock in Boyong, a village five miles from the peak.
Most of the nearly 70,000 Merapi evacuees have crowded into government camps.
Tri Prasetyo, who heads a national park near the crater, said many animals naturally would flee volcanic activity. But a Javan Tiger was unlikely, as it's believed to be extinct.