An endangered Sumatran elephant and its unborn baby have been found dead on suspicion of poisoning in western Indonesia, a conservation spokesman said on Thursday.
The carcass of a heavily pregnant mammal was found near a palm plantation in Riau province, Sumatra, a large island home to some of the world’s rarest animals.
The nation’s archipelago is facing a constant fight against wildlife crime, and several cases of elephant poisoning have been reported in recent years, including one in 2019 when a Sumatran elephant was found headless with torn tusks.
A plantation worker found the mother, who was 22 months pregnant, on Thursday and immediately reported the corpse to authorities, who collected samples before burying the body.
“We estimated that the elephant was about 25 years old, and during the autopsy we found that she was pregnant and close to childbirth,” said Harton, head of the local branch of the Natural Resources Agency.
Officials are still checking samples to determine the cause of death, added Harton, who, like many Indonesians, bears the same name.
They suspect poisoning because the mother was foaming at the mouth when she was discovered.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, Sumatran elephants are on the verge of extinction, leaving only about 2,400-2,800 elephants in the world.
Elephant populations are also threatened by rampant poaching because of their tusks, which are valued in illegal wildlife trade.
Rapid deforestation has reduced the number of endangered elephants. natural habitat and led them to a growing conflict with the people.
© 2022 AFP
Citation: Endangered Elephant, Unborn Child Suspected of Poisoning in Indonesia (2022, May 26), retrieved May 26, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-05-critically-endangered -elephant-unborn-baby.html
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