Saturday, June 6, 2009

Elephant Poisoning in Riau

The island of Sumatera is the home of around 3,000 protected rare Elephants, whose population has been decreasing day after day due to time due to the cutting and burning of trees in the forests, making their living space getting more and more smaller every day.

Due to this fact, some elephants in Riau province have left the forest to visit farmland owned by the vilagers to look for food, which bring them face to face with the vilagers.

According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) since the year 2000, at least 201 Elephants were caught by the Riau government in their effort to handle conflict between them and vilagers. At least 46 died because the catch have not been done professionaly. WWF added that the whereabout of 103 Elephants caught between 2000 and 2006 are still unknown.

According to Okezone between the year 2006 and 2009 there were 12 people killed by elephants in Riau.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that four of the Elephants were found dead near an oil palm plantation in Riau. Eddy Santoso of a local Conservation & Natural Resource Agency believed that they are poisoned by the vilagers. He added that last month his agency found 2 dead Elephants poisoned with Cyanide-laced Pineapples, with their Musks removed. Now, the Police and the Agency are investigating the case.

The above sad news shows the bad effects of improper cutting and burning of forests in Riau for plantations purposes, which shrank the habitat of those Elephants. I hope that the local and central governmentas, as well the law enforcement agencies would make better efforts to prevent or at least minimize the improper deforestration, so that the protected Elephants and other wild life would not decrease.

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