Sumatran Elephants Found Dead, Poisoning Suspected

In this photo taken on May 10, 2013 two children look at a dead Sumatran elephant that was killed by electrocution the day before at Blang Gajah Mate village, in Pidie, Aceh. (AFP Photo/Zian Mustaqin)

In this photo taken on May 10, 2013 two children look at a dead Sumatran elephant that was killed by electrocution the day before at Blang Gajah Mate village, in Pidie, Aceh. (AFP Photo/Zian Mustaqin)

Two critically-endangered Sumatran elephants were found dead in an Indonesian national park and it is believed they were poisoned, the WWF environmental group said on Monday.

It takes to three the number of the elephants found dead in Tesso Nilo National Park on Sumatra island in the last month.

The carcasses of a male aged around five and a young female were found on Friday about a kilometer apart, said WWF spokeswoman Syamsidar, who goes by one name.

“We believe that the elephants were poisoned as the carcasses were quite close to each other,” she said, adding that autopsies needed to be conducted before the cause of death could be confirmed.

A Sumatran elephant was discovered dead in the park early last month, also from suspected poisoning, she added.

Fifteen Sumatran elephants were found dead last year in Riau, where the national park is located, with around half of them found to have been poisoned, Syamsidar said.

Fewer than 3,000 Sumatran elephants remain in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Rampant expansion of palm oil and paper plantations and the mining industry have destroyed nearly 70 percent of the elephant’s forest habitat over 25 years, according to the WWF, and the animals have been targeted by poachers.

On January 14 Borneo pygmy elephants were found dead of suspected poisoning in the Malaysian state of Sabah. Three-month-old orphaned calf Joe made headlines around the world when he was pictured trying to rouse his dead mother.

Agence France-Presse

  • Roland

    Someone is for sure very proud now to have managed to kill those elephants….

  • Catweazle

    Sorry Dumbo, it’s all your own fault… you shouldn’t have belonged to that minority group called Indonesian wildlife.

  • KuciKoo

    Absolutely disgraceful….

  • sheldon archer

    No respect for life…Human or animal

  • Tatanka

    Sick society with no respect for life… human and animals. I once was vacationing in west Java where there was a commotion and cheering going on close to the hotel. A group of people tied and wrapped a cat with barbed wire. I almost blew my top off and felt like punching those jerks. They laughed when I said I would call the police. In the end I gave them money to release the cat. Sick society!

  • PALMOILKILLS

    It’s not just Indonesia and Malaysia. Its worldwide demand for ridiculously unimportant consumer goods that use palm oil (like candy, cookies, shampoo), paper products (like Barbie dolls), etc. We are all responsible for these deaths. Boycott palm oil — and let the corporations, like Unilever, Cargill, Starbucks, know it.