Three Rare Elephants Found Dead

Sumatran elephants.


Three critically endangered Sumatran elephants have been found dead in an oil palm plantation in western Indonesia and are believed to have been poisoned.

Villagers found the dead animals last Thursday in a government-owned oil palm plantation in the eastern part of Aceh province. They were estimated to be four and five years old, local environmental group Fakta said.

“We suspected that they died after consuming bars of soap laced with poison we found near the carcass,” the group’s chief Rabono Wiranata said.

“It seems that the elephants have died around one week,” he said.

The animals are usually either killed by villagers, who regard the beasts as pests that destroy their plantations, or by poachers for their tusks.

Early last month, two other Sumatran elephants were found dead in the west of the province.

There are fewer than 3,000 Sumatran elephants remaining in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, marking a 50-percent drop in numbers since 1985.

WWF changed the Sumatran elephant’s status from “endangered” to “critically endangered” in January, largely due to severe habitat loss driven by oil palm and paper plantations.

Conflicts between humans and animals are increasing as people encroach on wildlife habitats in Indonesia, an archipelago with some of the world’s largest remaining tropical forests.

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4 Responses to “Three Rare Elephants Found Dead”

  1. Maxx Maxted Says:

    It is so sad to see greed overcome our basic decency towards Life on our only planet. Lessons from other parts of the world should have taught us this. These lessons should teach all of us to respect Nature before we have totally destroyed the balance of life on our beautiful blue marble floating in empty space.

  2. cpgauthier Says:

    Very strange and funny photography… African elephants in Sumatra? Large ears are specific of african elephant and not of asian specimen! Is it serious?

  3. Gone for Good Says:

    […] It is reported that three Sumatran elephants are feared to have been poisoned by villagers in Aceh. “We suspect that they died after consuming bars of soap laced with poison we found near the carcasses,” Rabono Wiranata of the environmental group Fakta said. […]

  4. cpgauthier Says:

    Thank you to have withdrawn the photograph of the african elephants. This new photograph of asian elephant is better for illustrating this tragedy.

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