We have often experienced disturbances on account of the elephants straying into the area. This has really instilled a sense of fear among many villagers
Takengon, Aceh (ANTARA) - A herd of wild Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) ran amok, inflicting destruction to the harvested crops of several residents in Blang Lango Village in Nagan Raya District, Aceh Province, on Sunday (March 28).

The wild elephants also destroyed Masyudi's house, Blang Lango Village Head Oediyantri noted in a statement that ANTARA quoted on Monday.

This 35-year-old villager's house incurred serious damage, Oediyantri remarked, adding that the wild elephants had recurrently trespassed into the residents' farms.

"We have often experienced disturbances on account of the elephants straying into the area. This has really instilled a sense of fear among many villagers," Oediyantri pointed out.

The villagers, whose harvested crops were destroyed by the giant mammals, suffered material losses since the crops were no longer fit for consumption and sale.

The elephants also foraged on the crops of the villagers living in the transmigration area of Seunagan Timur Sub-district in Nagan Raya District.

According to Oediyantri, a herd of wild elephants also trespassed into the transmigration area last February and destroyed the farms of several villagers.

"We are optimistic of the related authorities soon handling this problem as our people have become fearful of these elephant disturbances," Oediyantri noted.

The Indonesian government has classified Sumatran elephants as an 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 some 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: Veterinarian team treats wounded female Sumatran elephant in East Aceh

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Translator: Teuku DI, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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