Rare elephant found dead in Indonesia: official

Yahoo News 2 Apr 11;

JAKARTA (AFP) – A rare Sumatran elephant has been found dead on a palm oil plantation in the island's Riau province, an Indonesian official said Saturday, with poisoning suspected.

The elephant was the second to die in Bengkalis district in a week.

"A female elephant, about 17 years old, was found dead yesterday (Friday) at a palm oil plantation. It could have been dead for three days before we found it," Riau province conservation agency official Adit Gunawan told AFP.

"An autopsy is being carried out. There's a possibility that the elephant was poisoned by humans," he said.

On Sunday, a female elephant died in Bengkalis district after blocking a village street for a week. Officials said it could have died because of stress, lack of food, or poisoning.

There are at most 3,350 Sumatran elephants remaining in the wild, according to the environmental group WWF.

Conflicts between humans and animals are increasing as people encroach on wildlife habitats in Indonesia, an archipelago with some of the world's largest remaining tropical forests.

Dead elephant found at oil palm plantation
Antara 2 Apr 11;

Dumai (ANTARA News) - The dead body of a female elephant has been found in decomposed condition at an oil palm plantation at Petani village, Mandau district, Bengkalis, Riau province.

"The elephant, believed to have died since three days ago, was found on Friday by one of the workers of PT Darmaali Jaya Lestari," B. Rianto, Petani village head, told ANTARA News in Bengkalis on Saturday.

There has been no explanation yet on the cause of the death of the elephant though the Bengkalis Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) has been notified of the case, he added.

However, Rianto said that prior to the finding of the dead elephant, villagers had complained of the destruction of their palm oil trees by a herd of elephants making them terrified to go to the plantation to pick ripe palm oil fruits.

A few days later the dead body of the elephant was found lying down and decomposing badly. "We want it that the authority (BKSDA) to bury the dead elephant as we couldn`t stand the smell anymore," Rianto said.

BKSDA has said that a veterinarian would be dispatched to the site where the dead elephant found to check the causes of its death but it two days had passed and nobody had come to see the dead elephant.

Bengkalis BKSDA had sent an officer to see the body of the elephant on the first day the villagers reported about the finding of the dead elephant and would send a veterinarian later on, according to spokesman.

Editor: Priyambodo RH