Eleven Sumatran elephants have died from poaching activities, conflict with humans and natural causes throughout 2018, lower than the recorded 13 in the previous year, an Aceh provincial Natural Resources Conservancy Center (BKSDA) official said on Thursday.
Head of Aceh BKSDA Sapto Aji Prabowo said regency that recorded the most death of the protected animal last year was East Aceh with 4 cases. It was followed by Aceh Besar with 3 cases.
"From the 11 deaths, 3 were caused by elephant conflicts with humans, 3 by poaching activities and 5 by natural causes," Sapto said in Aceh capital of Banda Aceh.
Among the tragic elephant deaths were two in East Aceh and Bireuen regencies as they were found with their tusks already gone. One of them was allegedly being poisoned that led to its death.
Aceh saw diminishing number of Sumatran elephants live in the wild, mostly due to conflicts with humans and poaching activities.
Aceh BKSDA said that population of the protected animal in Aceh forest now is estimated at around 500.
Risk of decreasing elephant population was growing due to expansion of plantation areas, shrinking their habitat and prompting them to commit conflicts with humans.