2 rare elephants found dead in Indonesian jungle

May 08, 2009
In this photo taken on May 7, 2009, conservationists and officials inspect the carcass of an elephant believed to have been poisoned near Pekanbaru, Riau province, Sumatra island. Two Sumatran elephants believed to have been poisoned by poachers were found dead in the jungle of northwest Indonesia with their tusks removed, a conservationist said.(AP Photo)

(AP) -- Two rare Sumatran elephants believed to have been poisoned with cyanide-laced pineapples were found dead in the jungles of northwestern Indonesia with their tusks removed, a conservationist said.

The giant males aged 16 and 23 were discovered Thursday near Pekanbaru, Sumatra, about 560 miles (900 kilometers) from the capital, Jakarta, said Muslino, a spokesman for the Conservation and Natural Resources Agency. Like many Indonesians, he uses just one name.

Four pineapples spiked with cyanide were scattered on the ground near the carcasses and two sets of bloodied tusks had been hidden in the underbrush, said Muslino.

Police were searching for poachers believed responsible, he said.

Indonesia's endangered elephants, tigers, and orangutans are increasingly threatened by shrinking jungle habitat, which is cut and burned to make way for plantations or sold as lumber.

Just 3,000 Sumatran are believed to still be living in their natural surroundings.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Danish museum discovers unique gift from Charles Darwin

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sumatran Rhino Seen in Borneo Jungles

Sep 09, 2006

(AP) -- Wildlife rangers have made the first-ever sighting of a Sumatran rhino deep in the jungles of Borneo, taking video and photos of a single male after a decade-long search, conservationists said Friday.

Fewer elephants with tusks born in China

Jul 18, 2005

More of China's male elephants reportedly are being born without tusks because hunting of the animals for their ivory is affecting the gene pool.

Male elephants get 'photo IDs' from scientists

Aug 15, 2007

Asian elephants don’t carry photo identification, so scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and India’s Nature Conservation Foundation are providing the service free of charge by creating a photographic archive ...

Palm oil putting orangutans at risk

Oct 22, 2007

Conservationists meeting at the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago say growing demand for palm oil is putting Sumatran orangutans at risk of extinction.

Lost cuckoo breaks its silence

Feb 26, 2007

A team of biologists with the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have recorded for the first time the call of the extremely rare Sumatran ground cuckoo, found only on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

Recommended for you

Danish museum discovers unique gift from Charles Darwin

14 hours ago

The Natural History Museum of Denmark recently discovered a unique gift from one of the greatest-ever scientists. In 1854, Charles Darwin – father of the theory of evolution – sent a gift to his Danish ...

Top ten reptiles and amphibians benefitting from zoos

17 hours ago

A frog that does not croak, the largest living lizard, and a tortoise that can live up to 100 years are just some of the species staving off extinction thanks to the help of zoos, according to a new report.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

docknowledge
not rated yet May 08, 2009
Welcome, society, to one of the most unpleasant of choices. A starving man says "What's more important, an elephant on the verge of exctinction, or the life of my family?"

And the answer is: the elephant.

How many of us could make the call? Hard times are coming.