Sumatran elephants are dying in worrying numbers in Riau. At least 24 elephants have died between 2015 to 2020. Fragmentation of their habitats because of forest conversion into plantation and industrial nurseries has made it easier for ivory tusk hunters. Follows is an investigative collaboration between Tempo, Tempo Institute and Mongabay.
DEDDY, Bujang and two others were looking for bull elephants which had for the past several weeks barged into their oil palm plantation. That day on April 13, the four residents of Simpang Kelayang village, in Kelayang subdistrict, Indragiri Hulu Regency, Riau, roamed the area. They wanted to find the elephants and herd them away from the plantation back into the wild forestland of the Tesso Nilo National Park.
After an hour or so, they spotted...