Case One: Elephant Carcass Found in Tasik Serai

EoF News / 10 May 2006

Elephant Death Because Of Gun Shot Temporary result of necropsy in Tasik Serai.


Crash Image*

Picture of elephant carcass in Tasik Serai published in The Jakarta Post, Saturday May 6, 2006 (Page 3, Headlines)

Riau Pos, May 5, 2006 [An English translation of Bahasa version] Pekanbaru—Recent death of male elephant in Tasik Serai Village Kilometer 42, Sub District Pinggir, Riau, shows strong indication of poaching by ivory hunters. Holes from bullets found in some parts of the body, such as on the foreheads, back of the ears, and near the genital. The ivory of the elephant, aged around 35 years, removed and the trunk was cut off.
Samsuardi, Human Elephant Conflict Officer of WWF Riau told Riau Pos on Thursday (April 5). The fact that the elephant has been shot appear following a necropsy performed on Wednesday (April 3) by vet Rini Deswita of Elephant Training Centre Minas, Nazaruddin of Way Kambas Elephant Training centre Lampung, Syamsuardi of WWF Riau’s office and Ponggoh of BKSDA Riau.
The necropsy was done from 5.00 to 6.30 PM. After taking the necessary sample of body parts, the carcass was buried using heavy equipment from PT.Arara Abadi. According to Samsuardi, the sample will be sent to two laboratories in Bogor and BPP V of Bukittinggi to find the exact reasons of the death.
The necropsy process were witnessed by many concerned parties, including Taufik Suardi representing Head of Police in Mandau, Iptu Widi Haryanto Head of police in Pinggir, some of police members, staff of BKSDA Riau, WWF, PT. AA and local communities.
The killer(s) have not been identified, said Samsuardi, though he is sure that they operate professionally and seem to know the detail of elephant weakness. It can be seen from holes, predicted from gun shot using sharp bullet, found by the team. “Only small possibility that the elephant died because of being poisoned,” she said. Because the carcass has already rotten, according Samsuardi, the team did not have chance to find the bullet, which was predicted of killing the elephant.
Regarding the death of the wild elephant, the head of police in Bengkalis AKBP Edi Setio BS through its representative Head of Police in Mandau AKP Azwar held a press conference in its office in Duri. According to Azwar, police investigation on the field indicates that the elephant was killed. The ivory was cut off using chainsaw and then removed, so does the trunk. The police believe that the elephant were killed using gun equipped with tranquilizer.
Those who thought to be the killer are those who like to hunt elephant as a hobby to collect the expensive ivory. The weight of the ivory is predicted to reach five kilograms each.
According to Azwar, the police also found holes from gun shot right below the elephant’s genital.
This poor elephant, height about four meters, was predicted dead on April 30. The carcass was found on Tuesday on May 2 by some staff of PT.AA at 09.00 AM and reported to the head of police in Mandau around 12.00 AM.
During an investigation on the ground, said Azwar, the police managed to collect information from four witnesses in the scene location. According to three witnesses, on Saturaday April 29 around 03.00 AM in the morning they heard sound like gun fired once. They though that sound may have something to do the elephant death.
So far, no one declared as the suspect yet. The police and Ministry of Forestry’s investigators (PPNS) still develop the case.
Head of BKSDA Riau Willistra Danny who was contacted to comment on the case said that the perpetrator should be processed before the law and prosecuted if proven guilty. ”If they are proven guilty, the sentence should be able to create deterrent effect,” he said. (Reported by Sukri Datasan, Duri, Riau: