Wild elephants destroy hundreds of oil palm trees in Indonesia

Antara 1 Apr 08;

Bengkulu (ANTARA News) - A group of wild elephants in the Seblat Elephant Training Center (PLG) broke loose and damaged 1,256 oil palm trees of PT Agricinal in Putri Hijau subdistrict, North Bengkulu regency, and a security post near the plantation.

PLG Seblat coordinator Aswin Bangun said on Monday that the rampant illegal loggings and damage on the elephent training center had disturbed the elephants and eventually broke loose seeking for food.

The damaged oil palm trees not only belonged to PT Agricinal, but also to the local villagers living near the training center.

Aswin said that actually the elephants, 50 to 60 of them, have already started the attack in mid-February.

To overcome the elephants' attack, the plantation authorities has asked for help from the relevant authorities.

Aswin said that the deafening sound of the chain saws used in illegal logging activities had also triggered the elephants to break loose from their training center. Elephants are known for their sharp hearing, and they will be easily provoked by loud sounds, like the sound of the chain saws used by the illegal loggers.

It was only in the last three months that the wild elephants confined in their training center broke loose looking for food.

To prevent the big animals from breaking loose from the center, the local villagers had been called on to stop opening new land or cutting trees in the forests, which are the habitat of the wild elephants. (*)