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

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

Photo: Forum Konservasi Leuser, on Detik.com

Indonesia: Aceh conservation agency finds dead Elephant while rescuing stranded calf
By M Haris SA, 18th January 2017;

A dead Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) was found in an oil palm concession area in East Aceh on Saturday (14/01), according to Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency, or BKSDA.

“Autopsy results seem to suggest the Elephant died from being shot – but we are not sure if was deliberately hunted or shot accidentally. There might be other factors,” BKSDA Chief Sapto Aji Prabowo told state news agency Antara on Monday (16/01).

“The Elephant was identified as a male adult aged 30, and when we found the carcass, the tusks were gone,” Sapto added.

The autopsy revealed five bullet holes in the Elephant’s neck and back, though no traces of the bullets were found.

The alleged perpetrator of the Elephant’s murder is still on the run. The case is being dealt with by the police.

The dead Elephant was found by BKSDA officers in the oil palm concession area Dwi Kencana Semesta on Saturday while they were on another Elephant mission of a different nature.

The BKSDA officers were on a rescue mission to save a stranded baby Elephant found by local villagers in Banda Alam on Friday (13/01).

The malnourished Elephant calf has been sent for medical care at the Elephant Conservation Center in Saree, Aceh Besar.

Source: Jakarta Globe

Photo: Detik.com

Indonesia: Four Sumatran Elephants died in Riau in 2016: WWF
3rd January 2017;

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has said that four Sumatran Elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) died in 2016 in Riau Province, a decline from the previous year.

“In 2015, there were 10 cases of dead Elephants, while in 2016, the number decreased to four,” Spokesperson of WWF of the Riau Program Syamsidar said here on Tuesday.

The four deaths are believed to have occurred due to conflict between humans and wild animals.

Last year, the Tesso Nilo National Park Authority found the carcass of a Sumatran Elephant in Pelalawan District.

They also found a Sumatran Elephant snared in an industrial forest concession. The animal did not survive despite treatment.

In September last year, an Elephant calf was found trapped in a ditch in an industrial forest concession with wounds all over its body.

“An Elephant also died after being electrocuted in Duri region, near a residential area,” Syamsidar said.

No suspects were either identified or arrested in these cases, Syamsidar said.

WWF, an international non-governmental organization in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of humanitys footprint on the environment, estimated there were around 100 Sumatran elephants living in the Sumatran habitat.

As the landscapes and the habitats make way for industry and residential areas, wildlife is facing greater challenges for survival.

Although conflict between humans and wildlife is inevitable, Syamsidar said that the local authority and several private enterprises, which have forest concessions in Riau, have been working together to prevent and mitigate the conflict.

Only three private enterprises, PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), Asian Agri and PT Musim Mas, have been involved in this effort by adopting the human-wildlife conflict mitigation system being implemented by the WWF and Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of Riau.

RAPP has established a so-called flying squad, consisting of at least four grown Elephants and two calves, whose task is to conduct patrols around the concession area to avert human-wildlife conflict as well as prevent Elephant herds trespassing into residential areas or villages.

Asian Agri has a similar program but they conduct patrolling without using Elephants, Syamsidar said.

“They perform the patrol manually, without any Elephants, but still adopt the measures used by the WWF, such as using a carbide cannon,” he said.

PT Musim Mas, however, is committed to provide financial support for the program, Syamsidar said.

Source: Antara

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

Photo: Okezone

Indonesia: Injured Elephant calf dies in Bengkalis forest plantation
9th September 2016;

An injured Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) calf reportedly died in an industrial forest plantation in Bengkalis district, Riau, on Thursday (08/09), a day after it was found.

“The Elephant was found in a forest plantation, not in the conservation area,” Fifian J. Yogaswara, head of the technical department at the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in Riau, told Antara in Pekanbaru.

He said BKSDA Riau field officers received information on Wednesday that the calf had been found in the Arara Abadi industrial plantation.

According to Fifian, the calf was still alive at the time, but with half its body submerged in a water reservoir.

“We were trying to help the animal, but because we asked for assistance from [local nongovernmental organization] Vesswick in Medan [North Sumatra] and backup from the Pekanbaru office, help only arrived at around 8.00 a.m. on Thursday,” Fifian said. “But we were too late.”

He said he strongly suspects that the Elephant was part of a herd that lives in the Balai Raja wildlife conservation area, which borders the Arara Abadi concession.

Fifian further suspects that the calf became separated from its mother due to illness and that it died as a result of multiple stab wounds.

BKSDA Riau will be conducting an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.

Meanwhile, Arara Abadi spokesperson Nurul Huda said the Elephant calf was spotted with injuries and infected wounds on its legs.

“The injured calf was trying to find water, which led it to the site’s water reservoir,” she said.

Although a teams from Arara Abadi and BKSDA Riau managed to remove the Elephant from the reservoir, it succumbed due to its poor health condition.

Source: Jakarta Globe

Photo: Antara Photo/Syifa Yulinnas
Other photos from VIVANEWS and Kompas

Indonesia: Mounting Losses
18th April 2016;

A male Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) lies dead on the grounds of the Dwi Kencana Semesta palm oil plantation in East Aceh on Sunday (14/07). Police are still investigating what caused the death of the 5-year-old pachyderm. Data from Aceh’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) show that 21 Sumatran Elephants have been killed by local residents between 2014 and 2016.

Source: Jakarta Globe