“Dozens of Sumatran elephants have been killed in recent years,” the result of human-elephant conflict. In July 2018 another female elephant, age 10, was discovered dead in the “Jambo Reuhat village in North Aceh” in Sumatra (again on a palm oil plantation, the deforestation of which continues to deplete an elephant’s natural habitat & at astounding rates, i.e. unsustainable levels.)
Compounding the situation is the fact that both Borneo & Sumatra (each with a unique species of elephants) two islands either fully or partially belonging to Indonesia, “account for 96% of their palm, oil production“.
This is unfortunate as that industry (palm oil) is in a direct collision course with the very survival of our Asian elephants.
Panut Hadisiswoyo, director of OIC , who is serving on a multidisciplinary team looking into the situation of the ‘poisoned’ Sumatran elephant, said “he is furious that this latest elephant death has occurred … as he warned the palm oil company last December that they needed to take action to prevent human-wildlife conflict as elephants were roaming near to the plantation.”
“It is so tragic that this has happened” Hadisiswoyo said. “These deaths can be prevented if we protect the forest properly.”
Another expert, Hotmauli Sianturi (head of the North Sumatra BKSDA) is so outraged that “she wanted the permit for the PT PISS concession (“palm plantation owned by the Indonesian company PT Perkebunan Inti Sawit Subur” …which is “adjacent to the Gunung Leuser National Park… the last place on earth where orangutans, rhinos, tigers, and elephants can be found living together in the wild.”) to be revoked and some of the plantation area to be restored for elephant habitat”.
Sianturi urged the palm oil plantation owners to make use of “a 300-hectare, virtually abandoned area, where elephants are found. …Set that aside for the elephants”, she said, & “they would not come onto the plantation. The area could be monitored” as well.
Along with poisoning, other sinister acts take place on palm oil plantations (among other areas), to exterminate unwanted, pesky elephants. One is the use of elephant snares. Huge contraptions definitely designed to hurt or kill elephants.
Ricko Jaya added “that the human – elephant conflict has existed in Sumatra “for years”.
“It is inevitable that there will be victims, either elephants or humans. We need to find a way of managing this conflict.”
At last count there are less than 500 Sumatran elephants left in Aceh where this latest alleged elephant poisoning took place.
Lest we not forget Yongki, another Sumatran elephant found dead. Read Yongki’s story: “World Reacts to Poaching of Beloved Sumatran Elephant #RIPYongki”
Watch YouTube Video: Warning: graphic video “Sumatran elephant ‘poisoned’ in Indonesia palm plantation”
Image: (featured) full copyright to AFP / The Daily Mail ; CC Flickr: drawing of Sumatran elephant (for more images see Resources below).
Resources: “Sumatran elephant ‘poisoned’ in Indonesia palm plantation” Daily Mail
“Two Sumatran elephants found dead – one on oil palm plantation and one on farmland” by Annette Gartland at Changing Times
Borneo elephant wiki
Sumatran elephant wiki