Cause of elephant`s death not known yet: official

Pekanbaru, June 1 (ANTARA) - The cause of the death of a Sumatran male elephant at Tesso Nilo National Conservation Park in Riau province on Thursday is not yet known as an autopsy is pending, according to an official.

"We don`t know the cause of the elephant`s death. I hope it does not take too long to find out," Head of Tesso Nilo National Conservation Park Kuppin Simbolon said here on Friday.

According to Kuppin, a team of doctors from Riau Nature Conservation Service has been conducting an autopsy. Samples of the animal`s body will be sent to the veterinary laboratories in Bukittinggi in West Sumatra province and Bogor in West Java province.

He said the elephant`s tusks were kept secure in the office of Tesso Nilo National Park in Pelalawan district, Riau province.

"The length of the tusks is estimated to be about 50 centimetres," Kuppin added.

He noted the elephant was about 40 years old, adding the pachyderm was thought to have gotten separated from its group three months ago.

Local sources said the elephant died at Sei Tapak, Lubuk Kembang Bunga village, Pelalawan district. The area has oil palm plantations belonging to local residents.

Including the recent finding, the number of elephants found dead in Riau in 2012 has reached four. Earlier, the three elephants that were found dead reportedly belonged to a wild elephant group of Tesso Nilo park.(*)