Sumatran elephants run amok in Riau`s oil palm plantation

Sumatran elephants run amok in Riau`s oil palm plantation

Sumatran elephant (FOTO ANTARA/Irwansyah Putra)

"An elephant lifted my husband by using its trunk. The animal later trampled and kicked him like a ball. It`s really a miracle that he survives," Nurjenti Sidabutar, the victim`s wife, said.
Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - A herd of Sumatran elephants ran amok in an oil palm plantation in Minas, Riau Province, seriously injuring one worker identified by his name as Samuel Rudi Antoni Aritonang.

"An elephant lifted my husband by using its trunk. The animal later trampled and kicked him like a ball. It`s really a miracle that he survives," Nurjenti Sidabutar, the victim`s wife, said here on Wednesday.

Aritonang, 42, was attacked by the elephants on last Saturday evening when he was guarding the plantation which is located not far from the Riau Elephant Conservation Center in Minas.

The incident occurred when a male and female elephants with their baby walked through the plantation area and Aritonang intended to drive them away. But he was too close to the elephant cub and triggered the female elephant to attack him.

Aritonang suffered broken ribs, arms and right shoulder blade. His lung was also injured because of the attack.

He is now being hospitalized at Santa Maria Hospital in Pekanbaru and must undergo a surgery to survive.

"But we don`t have money. My husband is only a security worker and his salary is only Rp1.5 million (around US$170) per month," Sidabutar, a mother of five children, said.

She urged the local authorities to help cover the medical cost of her husband.

Meanwhile, Head of the Riau Nature Conservation Agency Memen Suparman believed the elephants who ran amok are wild elephants, because elephants in the conservation area are tightly guarded.(*)

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