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Press Release | 09 August 2011
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ProFauna Urges the Government to Fully Enforce the Law on the Death of Eight Sumatran Elephants in Bengkulu


The death of eight (8) Sumatran elephants in the Seblat Elephant Conservation Centre (locally abbreviated and known as PKG) in Bengkulu - Sumatera shows the lack of protection efforts. The loss of the endangered species had occurred in a short time, between January and July 2011. ProFauna suspects that the elephants had been poisoned and poached instead of natural death and urges the authorities to fully enforce the law on the cases.

ProFauna believes that there has been an organized crime behind the cruel killing of the elephants in PKG Seblat. It is allegedly assumed that the elephants have disturbed the palm oil plantation company in the surrounding of PKG Seblat causing the death of the poor animals. According to ProFauna»s record, between 2004 and 2011, there had been 17 cases of elephant death meaning there are two elephants die every year. Among those cases, there were two unresolved cases of elephant death in PKG Seblat: the finding of an elephant named Pratama which head crashed and the ivory tusks had been missing on 17 July 2007 and the death of two female elephants named Paula and Gia on 23 March 2009. Despite the finding of a projectile bullet in Gia»s head, the police have not been able to reveal the perpetrators.

In June 2009, ProFauna urged the Natural Resources Conservation Centre (BKSDA) of Bengkulu Province to stop the renewal permit for a palm oil company named, PT. Alno Agro Utomo, to use the axis road in the area of PKG Seblat. The road is a connecting pathway for the wild elephants to enter the National Park of Kerinci Seblat (TNKS). This road has allowed illegal logging encroachment and poaching activities. Not only elephants, Sumatran tigers and siamangs also inhabit the area of PKG Seblat showing that the area is an important spot of endemic and endangered wildlife conservation. For this reason, PKG Seblat should be upgraded into a game reserve with more protection.

ProFauna encourages the government to protect the habitat of Sumatran elephants and other wildlife. Habitat loss and fragmentation have proven to cause human-animal conflict where both elephants and local farmers or people suffer.

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