An adult Sumatran elephant finally died in Balai Raja, Mandau Sub district, Bengkalis District, Riau Province on 26 March 2011. Medical treatment given by the Veterinarian from the Natural Resources Agency of Riau (BSKDA Riau) and WWF failed to save the life of the elephant as she was very weak. Her five month-baby was translocated to the Elephant Training Center in Minas after its mom’s death. These two elephants, both mom and the baby had been reported to have been wandered in the village for two weeks. The community who has very often encountered human-elephant conflict in the area remained aware of the situation while assisting the elephants by providing food and water. On 23 March, the mother elephant collapsed. The villagers found her lying helplessly at the asphalt road for hours while her baby kept staying around her. The villagers tried to help the dying elephant by throwing water to her so that she was not dehydrated. The mother elephant then recovered.
In the folowing day, the condition of the mother elephant got much better. She and her baby could be escorted manually to forested area nearby Chevron complex by WWF and BKSDA team. However she always vomitted the food. Her body sign and symptom indicated that the elephant had consumed something poisoningThe villagers and school children are very much concerned with both elephants. Together they collected donation to buy food for the two elephants. Meanwhile the baby elephant kept staying around its mom and it sometimes nursed from the mom who was still in weak condition. Although the proper medical treatment had been given, the mother elephant still could not be saved.
Condition of Balai Raja Elephant Pouch
Balai Raja is one of nine remaining elephant pouches in Riau with the third biggest elephant population that is about 35 individuals. The elephant homerange within this pouch covers the Balai Raja Wildlife Reserve and the surrounding areas which unfortunately have been divided into several concession holders. The Balai Raja Wildlife Reserve itself was designated as conservation area in 1986 with length of 18,000 ha, however the forested area remains 120 ha only according to landsat image 2007. Settlement, oil palm plantation have fragmented the conservation area. As a result, human-elephant conflict occurs frequently in the area. More....