Thursday, 2 March 2006

Six elephants found poisoned to death in Sumatran jungle

When the short-term demand of economic growth outweight the long-term investment in biodiversity wealth, tragedy like this one will keep on happening - tanikota



Six elephants found poisoned to death in Sumatran jungle

JAKARTA (AP): Six rare, wild elephants were found poisoned to death in an Sumatran jungle Wednesday, their mouths black and covered with potassium cyanide, a conservationist said.

Nurkalis Fadli from the World Wild Fund said he believed all the animals, who appeared to be from the same family, were intentionally killed.

The only male in the group had its tusks removed, he said.

"This is an extraordinary crime," Nurkalis told reporters in Riau province on Sumatra sland. "Whoever did this must have known that Sumatran Elephants are extremely rare and protected by our laws."

The animals, including one young elephant, were found close together near Mahato, a village 300 kilometers north of Riau's capital Pekanbaru.

Nurkalis said it appeared they had been dead for about a week.

Their habitat is quickly shrinking because of illegal logging and land clearing, and villagers often complain the animals venture into human settlements looking for food.

Pekanbaru is some 900 kilometers northwest of Jakarta. (**)