Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Ten Percent of Sumatran Elephant Killed in Three Years

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  • Residents discover the body of a male elephant with its tusks removed (14/7). Sumatra elephants are a protected species yet many hunters still attempt to kill them. ANTARA/SYAHROL RIZAL

    Residents discover the body of a male elephant with its tusks removed (14/7). Sumatra elephants are a protected species yet many hunters still attempt to kill them. ANTARA/SYAHROL RIZAL

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The killing of Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatrensis) continues to haunt as more elephant carcass was found in Kareung Hampa, Lam Balek Subdistrict, West Aceh Regency, around 150 meters from palm plantation owned by PT Argo Sinergi just recently. The carcass was found without its ivory and its trunk was off of its body. It is estimated that the carcass is one-week old.

    The finding extend the list of Sumatran elephant’s killing in the island to almost 200 elephants or more than 10 percent of its total population. A list made by WWF-Indonesia shows that, in Aceh only, 36 elephants were found dead since 2012. They mostly died because of poison, electrocution or traps around palm plantation.

    “If the law is not strictly enforced to prevent the killing and poaching, Sumatran elephants could extinct in less than ten years,” said Sunarto, Wildlife Specialist of WWF-Indonesia, in a release received by Tempo.

    Irwan Gunawan, the Strategy Leader-Market Transformation of WWF-Indonesia urges the government to re-arrange and improve the system of plantation zonation to minimize conflict between human and the elephants.

    “We demand a serious attention from the Agriculture Ministry to ensure that the plantation companies fulfil their duty to participate in protecting elephants and other wild animals that are protected by the law,” said Irwan.

    Sumatran elephants have now categorized as critical on the red list of The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

    ERWIN Z