Idi, Aceh (ANTARA News)- The Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry views the killing of a domesticated elephant in the Serbajadi Conservation Response Unit (CRU) in East Aceh District, Aceh Province, as an organized crime.

"The ministry and the Police`s Criminal Investigation Department are committed to investigating the death of the domesticated elephant," veterinarian Indra Exploitasia, director of biodiversity conservation of the ministry, noted at a press conference here, recently.

The criminal case must be investigated thoroughly, and the perpetrators, including the executors and mastermind, must be arrested, he emphasized.

"Elephants are protected under Law No. 5 of 1990 on KSDAE (Conservation of Ecosystem Natural Resources)," he remarked.

Moreover, the species has been included on the appendix 1 of the CITES list, due to which its trade is banned, as they are on the brink of extinction due to human encroachment.

Based on the 2016 census conducted by the Elephant Forum, the population of elephants in Indonesia reaches 1,724 heads.

Elephant poaching is an organized and transnational crime, according to Exploitasia.

The ministry will continue its fight against animal poaching and trafficking of flora and fauna, including ivory, which is in high demand.

Moreover, the ministry has set up elephant CRUs in Sumatra to prevent conflicts between elephants and human beings.

"In Aceh, we have set up seven CRUs, including the Serbajadi CRU," he remarked.

The ministry and police are investigating the death of a domesticated elephant in the Serbajadi CRU on June 9, 2018, allegedly due to poisoning.

On June 29, the police detained two suspects and interrogated seven witnesses in the case and found ivory as evidence.

The police chased two other suspects in the same case.

Reporter: Mukhlis
Editor: Otniel Tamindael
Copyright © ANTARA 2018