"Of course, we must put an end to the human-wildlife conflict, and Sumatran elephants are native to the island of Sumatra," Executive Director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi)-North Sumatra Office Doni Latuperisa stated.
In Padang Lawas District, North Sumatra Province, the Barumun Nagari Wildlife Sanctuary (BNWS) has an elephant rehabilitation center that tends to 15 elephants, Latuperisa noted in a statement quoted by ANTARA here on Thursday.
"They are all healthy and active," Latuperisa remarked, adding that the Tangkahan Conservation Response Unit (CRU) in Langkat District, North Sumatra, also offers protection to Sumatran elephants.
The Tangkahan CRU, which manages 17 thousand hectares of land, has become a popular ecotourism site among domestic and foreign tourists, who can get the opportunity to witness up-close wild elephants in their natural habitat, he stated.
Meanwhile, the North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) manages three elephant conservation sites that are home to 22 wild elephants.
Some 15 of them are found in the BNWS conservation area; four are cared for by the Aek Nauli Elephant Conservation Camp, Simalungun District; and three others are tended to by the Gajah Holiday Training Center in Labuhan Batu Selatan District.
ANTARA noted that over these past three years, the human-elephant conflict has become a major conservation concern in several elephant range provinces in Sumatra Island.
In February 2019, for instance, at least 14 herds of wild Sumatran elephants had wandered in search of food in the areas of districts, such as Tamiang, Pidie, Central Aceh, Bener Meriah, and Biruen.
The Lhokseumawe Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) recorded that some four to five herds were found wandering around the forest areas of East Aceh and Tamiang districts.
In October 2019, a human-animal conflict broke out in the areas of Bener Meriah District, with a herd of wild Sumatran elephants ravaging four houses in Pantanlah Village, Pintu Rime Gayo Sub-district.
Another human-wildlife conflict recurred in Aceh on January 24, 2021, after a Sumatran elephant sneaked into and destroyed the farmlands of several residents of Tuwi Meuleusong Village in Seunagan Timur Sub-district, Nagan Raya District.
The aggressive elephant also destroyed a house of a transmigrant in Ketubung Tunong Village, Seunagan Timur Sub-district, but this human-wildlife conflict did not cause casualties among villagers, Tuwi Meuleusong Village Head Arfandi revealed.
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