Pekanbaru, Riau province (ANTARA News) - Five Sumatran Elephants (Elephas Maximus Sumatranus) were found dead last Friday (Nov 26) in Indragiri Hulu, Riau province, an official said.The poor elephants were allegedly killed by irresponsible people by poisoning them in the working site of a mining company, PT Citra Sumber Sejahtera."Early investigations reveal that the deaths of five elephants may be caused by acts of poisoning," Chief of Division I of Riau Natural Conservation center Edi Susanto said here on Sunday.
He said there was an indication that the killing of the five elephants might be related to the conflict between locals and the ill-fated animals. Around the elephants` death site, there were bush land and locals` rubber and palm plantations, he said. According to a team whose members consisted of WWF activists and vets, the elephants were dead because of poisoning. However the type of poison and motive behind the cruel action were being investigated.Last year, four elephants were also found dead in Peranap subdistrict, Riau province, in an acacia plantation owned by PT Rimba Peranap Indah (RPI). RPI spokesman Subroto was quoted by The Jakarta Post as saying that the elephants were found by field officers checking plants in two separate locations 50 meters apart. (*)