A young boy loses half his torso in a poaching trap in Indonesia

A young boy loses half his torso in a poaching trap in Indonesia

panda ach Half a baby elephant’s trunk was amputated on the Indonesian island of Sumatra after it got stuck in what authorities said on Monday were a trap set by poachers who prey on endangered species.

The one-year-old female is among the last 700 wild Sumatran elephants on the island. It was found very weak with a trap in its nearly severed trunk on Sunday in Alu Muraksa, a forest village in Aceh Jaya district, Agus Arianto, head of the Aceh Conservation Agency, said.

“Obviously, this was aimed at hunting endangered animals to make money,” Arianeto said in a statement. “We will cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the investigation.”

Arianto said the herd apparently left the elephant calf in poor condition after it fell into a trap set by a poacher.

On Monday, he said, wildlife officials had to amputate half of the torso in a life-saving operation.

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Conservationists say the coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in poaching in Sumatra as villagers are resorting to economic hunting.

In July, a headless elephant was found on a palm plantation in East Aceh. Police have arrested a suspected poacher along with four people for buying ivory from a dead animal. Their trials have been ongoing since last month. They face up to five years in prison and a fine of 100 million rupees ($7,000) if found guilty.

Aryanto said the number of Sumatran elephants that have died as a result of hunting and poisoning has reached 25 in the past nine years in East Aceh alone.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, has raised the Sumatran elephant’s status from critically endangered to critically endangered in its 2012 Red List, mostly due to significant population decline as evidenced by the loss of more than 69% of potential habitat in the last 25 years. The equivalent of one generation.

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Data from the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and Environment showed that the number of elephants in Sumatra shrank from 1,300 in 2014 to 693, down nearly 50% in the past seven years.

Sumatran elephants are a subspecies of the Asian elephant, and it is one of two species in the world.

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Associated Press writer Nenik Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.

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