Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA) - A team of veterinarians from the Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and Leuser Conservation Forum (FKL) offered treatment to a wounded wild Sumatran elephant.

The female elephant received medical treatment on early Sunday (March 21), Anhar, the forum's veterinarian, noted in his statement that ANTARA quoted here on Tuesday.

"The elephant is estimated to have been injured two or three weeks ago," Anhar remarked, adding that the local villagers, however, informed the FKL officers in Langsa District on March 16.

This wild Sumatran elephant was found abandoned in a forest near Srimulya Village in Peunaron Sub-district, East Aceh District, Aceh Province, in mid-March.

Her age is estimated to be between 40 and 45 years, while her weight is about 3.70 tons, and her height is recorded at 2.35 meters, according to Anhar.

Anhar revealed that the ill-fated elephant had sustained tens of puncture wounds over her body.

Serious infection had developed in several of the wounds, such as the ones under her right ear, on her right belly, and on her left leg, he revealed.

Anhar noted that the veterinarians had yet to confirm if her wounds were caused by blunt or sharp objects.

Furthermore, the female elephant, who might have been abandoned after being separated from her herd, would later be released into her natural habitat.

Before her release, the team of veterinarians would return to treat her again two days after providing the first medical treatment, he stated.

The Indonesian government has classified Sumatran elephants as endangered species, for which they should be well-protected and preserved.

Human-wildlife conflicts and illegal wildlife trade continue to hinder the government's efforts to save Indonesia's endangered species from becoming extinct.

Over the past three years, human-elephant conflicts, for instance, have become a major conservation concern in Aceh and several other elephant range provinces in Sumatra Island.

In February 2019, at least 14 herds of wild Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) had wandered in search of food into the areas of districts, such as Tamiang, Pidie, Central Aceh, Bener Meriah, and Biruen.

Head of the Lhokseumawe Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) Dedi Irvansyah remarked that around four to five herds were found wandering around the forest areas of East Aceh and Tamiang districts.

Three herds of these herbivorous animals were spotted in North Aceh District, while four herds of wild elephants were also found in the districts of Central Aceh, Bener Meriah, and Bireun, he revealed.

Meanwhile, in the districts of Pidie Jaya and Pidie, two herds were apparently observed, he remarked, adding that each of the herds had 15 to 20 wild animals.

Three herds of wild Sumatran elephants were also found trespassing into the areas of North Aceh district's Cot Girek, Matangkuli, and Langkahan sub-districts in search of food.

A herd of these animals also went on a rampage in Negeri Antara Village, Pintu Rimbee Sub-district, Bener Meriah District, by destroying the local farmers' agricultural land areas and attacking a trained elephant named Ida.

Consequently, the 40-year-old elephant's legs were wounded.

In October 2019, a human-animal conflict erupted in the areas of Bener Meriah District, with a herd of wild Sumatran elephants destroying four houses in Pantanlah Village, Pintu Rime Gayo Sub-district.
Related news: More clusters of Sumatran elephant rehab centers required: Walhi

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Translator: M.Haris SA, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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