BANDA ACEH , Indonesia -- Half of a baby elephant on Indonesia's Sumatra Island has lost her trunk after she was caught in a trap by poachers.
One-year-old Sumatran elephant female is one of 700 remaining wild Sumatran elephants on the island. Agus Arianto (head of Aceh's conservation agency) said that she was very weak and had a snare embedded in her trunk.
Arianto stated in a statement that "this obviously was intended to poach endangered animal to make money." "We will cooperate in an investigation with law enforcement agencies."
Arianto stated that the elephant calf was likely left behind by herd because of her declining condition after she was caught in a trap set by a poacher.
He stated that Monday's wildlife officials had to amputate half the trunk in an emergency.
According to conservationists, the coronavirus pandemic in Sumatra has increased poaching as Sumatra's villagers resort to hunting for food.
An elephant found its head missing at East Aceh's palm plantation was discovered in July. A suspected poacher was arrested by police along with four others who were accused of purchasing ivory from the animal's corpse. The trials against them are ongoing since last month. If found guilty, they could spend up to five years prison and face a fine of 100 millions rupiah ($7,000).
Arianto stated that 25 Sumatran elephants have been poisoned or snared in East Aceh in the last nine years.
IUCN has elevated the status of Sumatran elephant to critical endangered in their 2012 Red List. This is mainly due to a significant decline in the population, as shown by the loss of 69% of its potential habitat over the past 25 years. It's the equivalent of one generation.
The data from the Indonesian environment and forestry ministry showed that the Sumatran elephant population had declined from 1,300 in 2014, to 693 in 2014. This is a drop of nearly half in seven years.
Sumatran elephants, a subspecies the Asian elephant and one of two large mammal species in the world, are Sumatran elephants.