Narrowing of Sumatran elephant habitat caused by expansion of plantation and mining in Riau province of Sumatera greatly affect the survival of Sumatran elephant, elephant habitat is divided into small habitat and separated from one another, with elephant population consisting of small groups.
The current population of Balairaja elephants is estimated to be between 20-25 heads divided into two groups, one small and one large group, six tails dwelling in the Balairaja area and dozens of others moving into elephant habitat in the Giam Siak Kecil (GSK). Six elephants dwelling in Balairaja consist of two adult females of one teenage male and three adult male elephants, surviving in small forests and community plantations and companies.
The destruction of Balairaja elephant habitat due to various interests threaten the survival of Balairaja elephant, the elephant that is a legally protected animal in Indonesia and the world is increasingly on the brink of extinction.
Two Balairaja elephant elephants consisting of mother and son were found in the peatlands in Aceh’s village of Dumai municipality, the findings were initiated by a community report that there was an elephant conflict to the Riau Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) on 31 October 2017, BKSDA is assisted by Rimba Satwa Foundation (RSF), YTNTN, WWF and HIPAM to monitor and mitigate conflicts between elephants and villagers, “we deeply appreciate the attitude of the community that does not hurt elephants, instead the community makes this elephant presence as entertainment and gives elephants eat banana sticks, but on the other hand we are also worried about the safety of people who are so enthusiastic and daring to be too close to elephants, because this wild elephant at any time if felt threatened could only hurt the community “said Zulhusni Syukri chairman RSF.
After one week of monitoring, by mutual agreement between the two parties, the elephants were evacuated and restored to elephants habitat in Habitat Balairaja.
This evacuation process takes one day and one night and the team is very tiring, this is caused by the weather and the condition of the area that is peat reaches a depth of one meter, tame elephants imported from PLG Minas look tired and stumbled walking because of immersed on the ground, “This is a very difficult job tiring and makes us become stress plus heavy rain flushed all the time” said Dr. Anhar Lubis, Dr. wild animal senior from VESSWIC.
After a long process finally elephant can be done anesthesia 22:00 hours, but the serious problem back felt by the team, wild elephants who are in anesthetic condition plunged into the peat soil and can not move despite being pushed by a tame elephant. heavy rain, cold and hunger are ignored again, two hours various attempts are made until the elephant back out of the peat soil and herded up the truck and brought back kehabitatnya in Balairaja-Mandau.
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