Photos: Detik.com, Tribunnews.com, Aceh Portal [1], [2], Forest Nature and Environment Aceh Facebook and Waspada Online

Indonesia: Pregnant Elephant ‘poisoned’ in Indonesian palm plantation
27th December 2017;

A pregnant Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) has been found dead in a palm oil plantation on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, in what authorities suspect was a deliberate poisoning, an official said Wednesday.

The animal’s body was found near the remote Seuneubok Bayu village in Aceh on December 22, after authorities received a tip off from locals, Aceh conservation centre head Sapto Aji Prabowo told AFP.

“The 25-year-old Elephant had been dead for around 10 days when we got there,” he said.

"From the autopsy, we saw that its digestive organs turned black which the doctor said was a general indication of poisoning.”

The Sumatran Elephant was carrying 13-month old male foetus and was at least six months short of giving birth.

Locals have told authorities that several days before the carcass was discovered farmers had complained an Elephant ate their fertilizer.

Sumatran Elephant are critically endangered and a protected species, but rampant deforestation for plantations has reduced their natural habitat and brought them into conflict with humans.

At least 11 wild Elephants died in Aceh this year, most of them killed by humans, according to Prabowo.

In January, authorities found a dead Elephant without tusks in Aceh, along with its abandoned 11-month-old calf.

Source: AFP, via Jakarta Post

  1. Joint personnel from various groups, along with local people, cooperate to release beached Sperm Whales stranded in Ujong Kareung, Aceh Besar regency, in Aceh on Monday, Nov. 13. At least 10 Whales were beached in the location.
  2. Local people withess several Whales stranded in Ujong Karueng Beach in Aceh Besar regency, Aceh, on Monday, Nov. 13.

Photos: Antara/Irwansyah Putra and Ampelsa

Indonesia: Four of 10 beached Whales in Aceh die
By Gemma Holiani Cahya and Hotli Simanjuntak, 14th November 2017;

Four out of 10 Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) that were beached at Ujong Kareung Beach in Aceh Besar regency in Aceh died in the early morning on Tuesday while the rest had been taken back to open waters.

Around 50 rescuers from various offices were deployed since Monday to release the Whales, with support from local people acting as volunteers.

“They were stranded in shallow waters, only two meters deep. So it was hard for us to release them,” Head of Lampulo PSDKP Basri told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

He explained that the first three Whales had died before being taken back into the sea.

“We released seven of them to the sea this morning, but one of them returned to the beach again, dead. We are still monitoring the other six, making sure they will not strand themselves again,” Basri said.

Along with three ships from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, local fishermen lent their boats to help with the release and monitoring of the Whales, as some of them suffered wounds after hitting rocks on the beach.

Local people had flocked to the beach since Monday to witness the stranded Whales. They took pictures and shared live video via various social media platforms.

Marine and Fisheries Campaign Coordinator for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia Aryo Tjiptohandono told the Post that in a lot of cases, beached Whales that have been released will die due to their wounds.

“Crowd control around the area is very important to reduce the stress level of the Whales,” he said.

Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Wild Elephants run amok after trapped calf dies in hole

By Apriadi Gunawan, 28th October 2017;

A herd of 12 wild Sumatran Elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) ran amok in a village in Langkat regency, North Sumatra, after failing to rescue an Elephant calf that was trapped in a hole.

Nine coconut trees, eight palm trees, five shacks and a jackfruit tree owned by the local residents of Sumber Waras village, Batang Serangan subdistrict, Langkat regency, were destroyed by the raging Elephants. No one was killed in the incident.

North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) Region II conservation head Herbert Aritonang said the Elephants went on a rampage after they witnessed the baby Elephant die in a narrow hole 1.5 meters deep.

For three days, the wild Elephants attempted to rescue the trapped calf, but they instead pushed it deeper into the hole, which likely existed because of a removed stump, he said. “The baby Elephant’s body was pushed down because the soil around the hole fell down and covered half of its body,” Herbert told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

A joint team of officials from the BKSDA, Mount Leuser National Park and several NGOs found the baby Elephant dead on Sunday. However, the team could not easily recover the corpse because the herd lingered around it, Herbert said.

In order to ensure the safety of the team, they buried the corpse in the hole. “We found the baby Elephant dead with half of its body and four legs buried; only its back and head were visible. So our team covered it with soil to bury it,” Herbert said.

The 12 wild Elephants, comprising two males and several females and baby Elephants, lingered in the village area, which directly borders the national park, several days after the baby Elephant died.

They made loud noises and damaged the area, Herbert said, adding that the joint team had since deployed several personnel to protect the village and the local residents from the Elephants.

The population of Sumatran Elephants, who are a critically endangered species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, plummeted to 1,700 in 2014 from 2,400 in 2007, according to data from the Indonesia Elephant Conservation Forum.

Human-wildlife conflict is suspected to be a contributing factor to the population’s decline.

Several months ago, a 12-year old female Elephant was found dead from suspected poisoning near the national park in Barak Gajah village, Sei Lepan subdistrict, Langkat.

Meanwhile, BKSDA spokesperson Alfianto Siregar said the incident marked the first time wild Elephants showed aggressive behavior in the village.

Groups of wild Elephants usually passed by the village once every three months and they never got into conflicts with the residents, who were used to seeing Elephants in the area, he said.

The team’s investigation found no indication that the baby Elephant died from human interference, such as from poison or an Elephant trap, Alfianto said, adding that the calf died purely because it was trapped.

Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Villagers kill Bear inside settlement in Jambi

12th October 2017;

A Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) was killed in a village in Kerinci regency, Jambi, on Wednesday after residents panicked upon seeing a wild animal in their settlement.

The Sun Bear died from a wound to the abdomen caused by a villager throwing a spear at it in Tebing Tinggi village.

“The Bear entered a house,” Kerinci Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Dwi Mulyanto said on Thursday. “One of the villagers was carrying a spear and hit the Bear.”

It is believed the Bear wandered into the village as a result of food depletion and habitat loss.

The body of the Bear was immediately taken to the Kerinci Seblat National Park (TNKS) Agency.

In neighboring Riau province, a Bear attacked a couple while they were tapping rubber on a plantation about 500 meters from their house in Teluk Paman village, Kampar regency, last Tuesday.

Saruli, a 60-year-old rubber farmer, survived but was left with serious injuries, while his wife, 55-year-old Bunai, died from a fractured skull in the incident, which has also been linked to a shrinking habitat.

Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Villagers kill Bear inside settlement in Jambi

Photo: Kompas.com

Indonesia: Endangered Green Turtle found dead with wounds in Polewali Mandar
14th April 2017;

A Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) was found stranded and dead with wounds all over its body at Mampie Beach in Wonomulyo district, Polewali Mandar regency, West Sulawesi, on Thursday night.

The Green Turtle, which is listed as a protected species, was found by local residents and members of Komunitas Sahabat Penyu (Friends of Turtle Community). The dead reptile reportedly had wounds on its neck and head as well as a damaged shell.

The community’s chairman, Yusri, suspected that the turtle was beaten to death by fishermen as turtles, drawn to fishnets full of fish, are often seen during fishing activities, Yusri said.

“We will encourage all stakeholders, including local residents and the maritime police, to intensify joint patrol to protect Turtles,” Yusri said as quoted by kompas.com.

Yusri and student activists on Turtle protection further conducted an examination of the dead Turtle, including recording the Turtle’s measurements and analyzing its wounds. The dead reptile was buried so that its shell would not be illegally traded.

Friends of Turtle Community members and activists have recently intensified patrol efforts along the shores of Mampie Beach on the evenings to prevent anyone from stealing the endangered species’ eggs, as many Turtles typically lay eggs there in April.

Local residents and the Friends of Turtle Community commonly find large Turtles stranded and dead at Mampie Beach.

Source: Jakarta Post

  1. Rare species: Residents crowd around a Whale Shark caught in a trawl in Selakau waters, Sambas regency, West Kalimantan, on Friday.
  2. Playground: Children sit on the back of a Whale Shark caught in a trawl in Selakau waters, Sambas regency, West Kalimantan, on Friday.

Indonesia: Whale shark dead after being caught up in trawl
By Severianus Endi, 26th February 2017;

A 6-meter Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) weighing more than 1 ton got caught in the trawl of a fisherman in Selakau waters, Sambas regency, West Kalimantan, on Friday. Residents later cut the protected animal up and distributed the pieces.

Officers from Selakau Police and the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) questioned the fisherman, identified as Gustian, over the incident. He said the animal had accidentally become caught up in a trawl he had put out in waters around 20 kilometers off the shore. When he had discovered the shark in the net, Gustian claimed, it had already been dead.

Gustian, who had been out fishing with his son that day, said they had been unable to release the Whale Shark from the trawl, so he decided to pull it to the pier.

Gustian said he was not aware that Whale Sharks were a protected species. He said he did not know who had ordered the local residents to cut the Shark into pieces and take them home.

Pictures of the Whale Shark went viral on social media, showing local residents, including children, crowded around the carcass of the animal on Selakau Beach.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia’s West Kalimantan program manager, Albert Tjiu, told The Jakarta Post on Sunday there had been no clear information on whether Selakau waters were the habitat of Whale Sharks. However, he said, a WWF researcher conducting a survey in the area had heard of a similar incident last year.

Source: Jakarta Post

Rescue work: Volunteers medically treat two Sumatran Elephants whose legs were injured by a steel trap in Pancasila hamlet, Sei Lepan district, Langkat North Sumatra, on Monday. The Elephants freed themselves after four days of being snared by the mechanism.
Photo: Apriadi Gunawan

Indonesia: Young Elephants free themselves from trap
By Apriadi Gunawan, 22nd November 2016;

After being trapped in a steel snare for four days, two wild Sumatran Elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) in the Mount Leuser National Park (TNGL) managed to free themselves from the trap, although their legs were severely injured and infected.

The mammals were trapped in a community-owned oil palm plantation in Sei Lepan district, Langkat regency, North Sumatra.

Garendel Siboro, head of technical affairs at the North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), said both of the Elephants were females.

Garendel added that they were considered relatively young, with the smaller one believed to be approximately eight years of age and the larger one estimated at 10 years.

The acting team leader of the Elephant rescue operation said his office had received a report about two Elephants caught in a trap set by local residents, but only after the animals had already managed to free themselves from the legholds, with their injured legs still entangled in steel cables.

Garendel said the BKSDA then dispatched a team including volunteers from several NGOs to look for the Elephants. They were found in a critical state at the plantation in Sei Lepan on Friday.

The BKSDA enlisted the help of two veterinarians to remove the cables, which are as thick as a finger, from the Elephants’ legs.

Citing the report from villagers, Garendel said residents had been afraid to approach the animals, because their mother, approximately 20 years old, had been watching closely.

Garendel added that before being trapped, the two young Elephants had been with their mother in search of food on the plantation, in a herd with 11 more Elephants. Along the way, Garendel said, the two young Elephants were caught in traps deliberately built by farmers concerned about the large number of Elephants near their plantation.

The official explained that the wild Elephants had been forced out of their habitat in the TNGL area because their natural surroundings had been damaged by rampant illegal logging and the expansion of oil palm plantations.

“Many sections of the TNGL buffer zone area have been converted to oil palm plantation. As a result, Elephants have lost their habitat and are forced to seek food outside of their habitat,” said Garendel.

North Sumatra BKSDA Conservation Section head Herbert Aritonang said the condition of the two injured Elephants was improving after they received treatment from the vet team.

The Elephants are now entrusted to a privately owned plantation until they recover and are able to walk normally.

“If they have fully recovered and able to walk normally, then we will release and escort them to their herd to meet the other Elephants,” said Herbert.

Source: Jakarta Post