In recent months, the killing of Sumatran elephants in East Aceh, Aceh Jaya and Riau, has been on the increase. Suspected, are palm oil companies in these regions and also local farmers protecting their crops. They are suspected of putting poison on bars of soap, which elephants like to eat, and attaching them to trees. In the last 3 months more 10 elephants have been reported found poisoned in Aceh, many of them decapitated, or their tusks taken, and a number in Riau, Eastern Sumatra.
These magnificent members of the Asian elephant family, are being killed as they increasingly come into contact with humans, because of the loss of their habitat due to subsistence farming of villagers, but even more so, due to large scale rubber, timber, paper pulp, and palm oil plantations.
We understand that elephants can cause damage to villagers' crops and that there is a certain fear of these large, potentially dangerous creatures. However, we cannot accept these killings, and demand Indonesian Government intervention, investigation and protection of the Sumatran elephant.
We demand that the Indonesian government:
-STOP continued destruction and deforestation of natural forests in Aceh and Sumatra.
-Fully RESEARCH elephant territories, ranges, numbers remaining, feeding patterns, etc.
-ENFORCE LAWS meant to protect endangered species.
-INVESTIGATE and CHARGE plantation companies with killings.
-EDUCATE local people in the reasons for preserving elephant populations.
-ASSIST local farmers and villagers with methods and materials to protect their farmland and homes.
This will enable The Republic of Indonesia to preserve its Sumatran elephant populations in Aceh and Sumatra, and retain its international image and proud status as a responsible country, with diverse and beautiful species, living in healthy natural forests.