Photos: AFP/Aceh Province Forest Protection Agency, from Metro TV News

Indonesia: 2 Sumatran elephants found dead in Indonesia’s Aceh province
By Fakhrurradzie Gade, 15th October 2015;

Two endangered Sumatran Elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) were found dead in Indonesia’s Aceh province and were believed to have been poisoned, an environment official said Thursday.

Locals found the carcasses in a forest about 7 kilometers (4 miles) from their village in Aceh’s Jaya district, said Genman Suhefti Hasibuan, head of the local Conservation and Natural Resources Agency.

The two females, 2 years and 15 years of age, were estimated to have died two or three days before they were found on Wednesday, Hasibuan said. He added that there were no indications of violence or gunshot wounds on the carcasses.

“Hopefully, there will be no more elephants found dead like these in the future,” Hasibuan said, adding that the agency will investigate the deaths in cooperation with the police.

At least five Sumatran Elephants have been found dead this year in Aceh, after 11 deaths last year.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the animals as “Critically Endangered” after their numbers dropped to between 2,400 and 2,800 from an estimated 5,000 in 1985. Environmentalists say the elephants could be extinct within three decades unless they are protected.

Sumatran Elephants sometimes look for food in populated areas because development has destroyed their habitat. Some of the animals killed were shot or poisoned with cyanide-laced fruit. Others have been killed by poachers for their ivory.

In February, police arrested eight members of a poaching syndicate and confiscated tusks worth more than $30,000 in Riau province. The group admitted to have killed at least six elephants in neighboring Riau and Jambi provinces.

Source: Yahoo! News

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