Jakarta: Three endangered Sumatran elephants have been found dead, all with their tusks removed, in Indonesia’s Aceh province.
Two males were found by residents in a palm oil plantation in East Aceh district on Sunday, said Genman Hasibuan, the head of the provincial Nature Conservancy Agency.
“We strongly believe that the elephants were deliberately killed for their tusks,” he said, adding that his office was working with police to investigate.
The body of a third male elephant was found on Friday in Aceh Jaya district, also with its tusks removed, Mr Hasibuan said.
“Law enforcement has been better in the past few years but we need to take more serious action to minimise poaching,” he said.
There are an estimated 500 Sumatran elephants remaining in Aceh.
Throughout Sumatra island, fewer than 3000 members of the critically endangered sub-species are believed to remain in the wild, according to conservation group the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Poaching and the destruction of their habitat for plantations and farmland have been blamed for the dwindling population.
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