Sumatran elephant 'poisoned' in Indonesia palm plantation

Published: July 13, 2018
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Graphic content / Indonesian police and rangers conduct an investigation on a dead female elephant at the Banda Alam plantations in East Aceh, Aceh province, on July 13, 2018.  PHOTO: AFP

Graphic content / Indonesian police and rangers conduct an investigation on a dead female elephant at the Banda Alam plantations in East Aceh, Aceh province, on July 13, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

INDONESIA: A critically endangered elephant has been found dead in a palm oil plantation on Indonesia’s Sumatra island in what is suspected to be a deliberate poisoning, an official said on Friday.

The 10-year-old female Sumatran elephant was found in Jambo Reuhat village in North Aceh on Thursday the third of its species to be found dead of suspected poisoning in the same palm plantation since 2015.

“We found fruits and a pouch with traces of powder inside the animal,” Aceh conservation centre head Sapto Aji Prabowo said.

 Graphic content / Indonesian police and rangers conduct an investigation on a dead female elephant at the Banda Alam plantations in East Aceh, Aceh province, on July 13, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

Graphic content / Indonesian police and rangers conduct an investigation on a dead female elephant at the Banda Alam plantations in East Aceh, Aceh province, on July 13, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

“We suspect the death was caused by deliberate poisoning because her liver and spleen turned dark, a classic sign of poison,” he added.

Killing of endangered Sumatran elephant sparks anger

A group of veterinarians was deployed to the location after authorities were tipped off by locals.

Officials estimated the animal had been dead for three days when the carcass was discovered.

Sumatran elephants are a critically endangered species. Rampant deforestation to create plantations has reduced their natural habitat and brought them into conflict with humans.

At least 11 wild elephants died in Aceh last year, most of them killed by humans.

Graphic content / Indonesian police and rangers conduct an investigation on a dead female elephant at the Banda Alam plantations in East Aceh, Aceh province, on July 13, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

Graphic content / Indonesian police and rangers conduct an investigation on a dead female elephant at the Banda Alam plantations in East Aceh, Aceh province, on July 13, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

Earlier in June a tame Sumatran elephant was found dead from apparent poisoning in East Aceh district with its tusks missing.

Officials found the remains of fruits laced with poison inside the animal during the autopsy.

The environment ministry estimates only around 500 Sumatran elephant remain in Aceh.

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