Male elephant dead in Bukit Tigapuluh block

EoF News / 29 May 2007

Pekanbaru (EoF News)-- A Sumatran elephant was found dead in Bukit Tigapuluh forest landscape, Riau, where his tusks were probably taken out by poachers.

Reports said the carcass of male elephant was found Sunday in a smallholder plam oil plantation in Perhentian Sungai village, Kuantan Mudik sub-district of Kuantan Singingi district.

There is no official confirmation on the death's cause despite poaching motive is believed to drive such a crime. "If we see that the elephant's tusks disappear, possibly he is killed," said Rahman Sidik, head of Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency as quoted as saying by Kompas daily today.

Syamsidar, spokesperson of WWF-Indonesia's Riau Conservation Program, said that the location where the elephant found killed is in Bukit Tigapuluh forest block, which is one of the elephants' homerange. WWF team have been deployed to the location to examine the incident.

In December last year two Sumatran elephants were found dead surrounding Bukit Tigapuluh forest block. The landscape is stressed by rampant deforestation as many concessions of acacia (HTI) and palm oil plantation operate in the landscape.

*Crash Image*

The Ministry of Forestry in February has appointed two subsidiaries of giant pulp and paper companies, APP and APRIL, to convert the 138,000-hectare natural forests into acacia. The rare natural forests of Sumatran elephant and tiger are threatened by would-be massive conversion. 

WWF noted that human-elephant conflict in Riau deteriorated over the recent years. In 2006 the conflict caused four people died, 18 injured and 23 elephants got killed.

APP, APRIL to convert Bukit Tigapuluh forests to acacia