Friday, July 06, 2018

Indonesian police nab poachers of endangered elephant

JAKARTA, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Police in Indonesia's Aceh province have arrested two people allegedly killing of a protected Sumatra elephant and hacking off its tusks, a police officer said on Wednesday.
Police chief in Aceh Timur district Wahyu Kuncoro said the two perpetrators killed the endangered animal in the compound of Conservation Response Unit in Bunin village.
The killing of the elephant also involved two other poachers, whom the police were hunting for, Wahyu said in the district.
"Evidences in the forms of a big knife and a T-shirt were seized and claimed by the two as things owned by their friends. Now, we are pursuing their friends who have been on the run," he was quoted by Kompas media as saying.
According to the provincial conservation agency, the perpetrators likely fed the elephant with poisoned foods, a common modus operandi used by poachers in the area.
The Sumatran elephant, known as Elephas maximus sumatranus, is one of three recognized subspecies of the Asian elephants, and has habitats on Indonesia's Sumatra Island.
The elephant was declared critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UNCN) in 2011, as its population has declined by 80 percent over the past decades.
The wild population of Sumatran elephants is now estimated at between 2,400 to 2,800.

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