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Trained elephants ill after 10 days of expelling wild elephants

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) – Two trained elephants fell ill from fatigue after a 10-day operation to drive out wild elephants in Riau Province and had to be returned to the Tesso Nilo National Park for their recovery.

“Two elephants named Rahman and Indro were returned (to the park) on Sunday night, as they had fallen sick and showed signs of exhaustion,” Andri Hansen Siregar, an official of the Riau Natural Conservation Agency (BBKSDA), stated here on Tuesday.

The BBKSDA Riau conducted a joint operation along with the Tesso Nilo National Park and Riau World Widelife Fund (WWF) to drive out wild elephants found roaming around farmers’ land in Indragiri Hulu District.

The operation was conducted by deploying two male elephants under the Flying Squad elephant team.

Rahman, aged between 35-40 years, weighs four tons, while Indro, who age is around 30-35 years, weighs 3.5 tons.

Rahman and Indro, both Sumatran elephants (elephas maximus sumatranus), were part of the operation since June 11. They led the team to drive out four wild elephants from the farmers’ plantation and herded them to return to the Tesso Nilo elephants’ enclave.

However, several obstacles were faced during the operation, and the two elephants ultimately fell ill owing to exhaustion. The two trained elephants have also shown signs of malnutrition.

“They are showing signs of exhaustion and digestion problem. This is due to the uncontrolled diet for the two trained elephants,” he pointed out.

Not only the elephants but the conservation agency’s team too experienced exhaustion after the lengthy operation and had to be replaced by another team after a week on the field.

Six wild elephants had trespassed into the farmers’ plantation in Indragiri Hulu District since last month. Four of them were found to be roaming around Peranap Sub-district, while two others were spotted in Kelayang Sub-district.
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