NGO urges Govt to take a stern measure against elephant killings

EoF News / 11 June 2013

EoF News ( PEKANBARU ) - A recent estimation by WWF- Indonesia shows that there have been over 100 dead elephants found in Riau, Sumatra, since 2004, where truly law enforcement is needed urgently, the environmental NGO said last week.

“In May, there have been three elephants found dead in Tesso Nilo,” said Syamsidar, spokeperson of WWF Riau Program to EoF News.

The latest elephant-killing case occured in Tesso Nilo National Park, Pelalawan District, Riau Province in May 2013. Two elephant corpses were found by WWF team and TNNP office who were doing their regular patrol on Friday, May 31st 2013 and they are allegedly to be poisoned.

Due to the slow response by the goverment, WWF-Indonesia urges the Ministry of Forestry to immediately realize its promise of law enforcement on elephant deaths, especially in Riau as once been told by the Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan, at several occasions.

"There are two wild elephants which were found dead, one is a young elephant and the other is its mother and were probably still from the same group." Head of Tesso Nilo National Park Office, Kupin Simbolon, told media  on Sunday  (Antara News, June 2, 2013).

Furthermore, tentative analysis based on the condition of the scene states that the two corpses were alleged to be poisoned, some undentified utensils were also found around the bodies. As the two bodies were not decomposed yet, the team estimated that they were killed 2-3 days ago.

"There should be immediate response by the goverment to every suspicious death of the endangered species by doing investigations and examinations. Because every death of the major species means a loss of the country’s assets, moreover, Sumatera elephants are species in critical condition” said Sunarto, species expert of WWF Indonesia, in a press release last week.

“The condition today is very devastating. There have been several numbers of dead elephants found and we promise to not let this continue to happen” Kupin added.

Though associated institutions (including Riau Natural Resources Conservation Office and Veterinary Office of Pelalawan District) has sent the Autopsy Team to resolve the dead-elephant case reported by WWF, there is still no real action on the case until now, the environmental organization said in a press release said.

The Tesso Nilo National Park Office only secured the tusks of the bodies that were found in Ukui Sector.