Endangered elephant decapitated by poachers

·2-min read

A critically endangered Sumatran elephant has been found decapitated in Indonesia's Aceh province, an official says. 

The carcass of the male elephant was found on Sunday in the Jambo Reuhat village of East Aceh district, said Agus Arianto, the head of the provincial Nature Conservancy Agency.  

A necropsy found the 12-year-old animal had been poisoned before it was decapitated and its tusks ripped off, he said.  

Officials work at the scene where a critically endangered Sumatran elephant was found decapitated with its tusks missing in Banda Alam, East Aceh, on July 12, 2021. (Photo by Cekmad / AFP) (Photo by CEKMAD/AFP via Getty Images)
Officials work at the scene where a critically endangered Sumatran elephant was found decapitated with its tusks missing in Banda Alam. Source: AFP

"We suspect it was deliberately killed for its tusks," he said, adding that its severed trunk was found nearby.  

"The case is being handled by the police and we hope that the perpetrators will be found soon," he added.

The Sumatran elephant, a subspecies of the Asian elephant, is categorised as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).  

There are estimated to be fewer than 3000 Sumatran elephants in the wild, with their number dwindling as a result of the conversion of their forest habitats into agricultural land and palm oil plantations, according to conservationists.  

Baby elephant rescued from migrating herd

A migrating herd of wild elephants has made headlines after spending months roaming across southwest China in one of the longest ever animal migrations of its kind in the country.

The herd left behind a heavily injured baby elephant, which was rescued on Tuesday in the latest twist in the chaotic 500km odyssey.

Since setting off last year, the meandering mammals have stolen villagers' food and trampled crops worth over $1 million, with thousands of residents evacuated from their path.

Locals sighted the baby elephant — weighing 180 kilograms and born on the lumbering trek — alone on a tea plantation Saturday morning, struggling with an infected injury on its leg.

The elephant's wound could have been life-threatening if authorities hadn't arrived and given treatment, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

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