Bengkulu, Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The population of wild elephants at the Elephant Training Center (PLG) in Seblat, North Bengkulu, Sumatra , has increased from 50 to 70 over the last two years.

During the first trimester of 2011, eight new baby elephants were born in the 6,800-ha forest area, Anom Zamora, head of the Bengkulu Natural Resources Conservation Agency , said here Thursday.

Most of the wild elephants used to live outside the Seblat PLG and to disturb oil palm plantations.

After being herded into the Seblat PLG with the help of trained elephants, the wild elephants seemed to feel comfortable as there was a lot of food and no poachers at the PLG, Anom said.

"We have also assigned tens of forestry police to guard the PLG forest area and the wild elephants in order to prevent them from going out of the area because the PLG forest is surrounded by oilpalm plantations," he said.

The Seblat PLG was projected to become a conservation forest, he said.

Besides wild elephants, the PLG is also inhabited by thousands of species of reptiles, butterflies, protected birds, and white siamang monkeys.

Bengkulu Province has around 200 elephants found among other things in Bukit Barisan forest and the Seblat PLG.
(T. Z005/Uu.F001/HAJM/O001)

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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