NGO: 150 Wild Elephants Remain across Jambi
TEMPO.CO, Jambi - There are approximately 150 wild elephants left throughout the Province of Jambi - with pockets of herds spread across forests in the regencies of Tebo and Batang Hari.
"The number is expected to continue to decline - 10 years ago there were at least 700 elephants in the area," said the Head of Forum for Jambi's Conservation of Indonesian Elephants (FKGI), Krismako Padang to Tempo on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.
Krismako explained that the continuous decline is caused by their diminishing habitat, as humans continue to clear land and forests in such a large scale to make way for agricultural activities. The marked rise of illegal poaching also does not help the cause of conservation - in the past three years, at least seven elephants have fallen victims to poachers. "We managed to arrest two poachers along with Tebo Resort Police in the village of Semambu," Kirsmako said.
"Among their belongings, we found two tusks and a skull of a recently killed elephant," continued Krismako.
The arrests were made after officials received civilian reports that a dead elephant had been sighted on February 13, 2016 not far from their location. Based on these information, on April 9, 2016, authorities arrested 78-years old S and his 43-years old accomplice Mamang - both residents of Semambu Village - and found other tusks and elephant skulls that were ready to be sold off.
Both suspects are currently being held at Tebo Police Station, said Jambi Police's Spokesperson Adj. Sr. Comr. Kuswahyudi Tresnadi to Tempo, and will be charged under Clause 21 of Law 5/1990 on the Conservation of the Ecosystem and Natural Resources - which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years imprisonment,