Wildfires in Riau force wild elephants to flee habitats

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - Few wild elephants fled their habitats, entering residential areas after wildfires spread through the Tesso Nilo National Park, Riau Province, for the past week, the Natural Resources Conservation Office (BBKSDA) stated here, Tuesday.

Riau BBKSDA Chief Andi Hansen Siregar remarked that the national park's rangers had conducted monitoring of the movement of wild Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) from the rainforest to Bongkal Malang Village in Indragiri Hulu District.

Following a tip-off from villagers, two wild Sumatran elephants were spotted roaming around the plantation areas.

"Some secondary traces, such as dirt and footprints, were found. These elephants had roamed for two days," Siregar stated.

An initial identification launched by the rangers indicated that one of the wild animals was an adult male Sumatran elephant that had allegedly destroyed the villager's palm plantation.

Despite detection of their traces, the endangered animals had drifted to other areas, the chief revealed.

"According to our latest check with the rangers, they had further fled from Bongkal Malang Village to the nearest area, but we continue to conduct sweeping operations of some spots in the village to ensure the herd of wild elephants had returned home," Siregar remarked.

Apart from the Bongkal Malang Village, a group of three wild elephants were spotted roaming around the residential areas in Cirenti Sub-district, Kuantan Singingi District, for the past week. Siregar remarked that the rangers had secured the two elephants.

When wildfires ravaged through the national park for the past week, dozens of wild animals fled to the residential area in search of food at the villager's plantation.

Source: ANTARA News

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