Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - The Tesso Nilo National Park in Pelalawan District, Riau Province, again lost one of its Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) after a poacher allegedly killed it for its tusks.

The 46-year-old elephant, named "Rahman", was found dead by its mahout on January 10, and its left tusk was cut off, according to the national park's head, Heru Sutmantoro when contacted for a confirmation on Thursday (January 11).

The poacher might have poisoned the ill-fated elephant before cutting off its left tusk, he said.

According to Sutmantoro, the first to know about Rahman's death was Jumadi, the ill-fated elephant's mahout, while attempting to provide it regular feeding on that day.

However, Jumadi found it strange when Rahman did not respond to his calls. He then approached it and found it on the ground, with its left tusk cut off and on the verge of dying, Sutmantoro quoted Jumadi's explanation as saying.

Jumadi immediately reported Rahman's condition to the mahout coordinator, Sutmantoro stated.

The mahout also attempted to save the ill-fated elephant's life by giving urgent medical care under the directives of the Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency's (BKSDA's) team of veterinarians.

Despite the efforts, Rahman couldn't be saved. It died at 3:55 p.m. local time on Thursday, January 10th, he said, noting that he had reported the poaching case to the Ukui police for investigation.

The poaching that led to Rahman's death was the second case over the past two months, as a previous incident of a wild baby elephant having died was reported in the national park's area on November 16, 2023.

This two-year-old elephant might have died due to wounds on its legs inflicted by nylon ropes tied by its poachers, he said.

ANTARA reported earlier that cases of human-wildlife conflicts (HWCs) continue to be frequently found in Indonesia, as they resulted in human and material losses and deaths of several endangered animals in affected regions.

The HWC-related occurrences that are closely related to the damaged condition of the wildlife's natural habitat frequently occur in regions, such as the provinces of Riau, North Sumatra, and Aceh.

In Aceh, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) recorded 113 HWC-related occurrences between 2019 and 2023, including 33 involving Sumatran elephants.

The conflicts had resulted in the deaths of 22 Sumatran elephants, according to Walhi-Aceh Chapter Head Ahmad Shalihin's statement, published on the conservation group's website.

Moreover, ivory traders continue to pose a threat to Sumatran elephants.

On August 27, 2021, police officers in Aceh Jaya District, Aceh Province, arrested 11 people for their involvement in the killings of five Sumatran elephants in 2020 and trading their ivory tusks.

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Translator: Bayu AA, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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