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Baby Elephant Has Half Of Its Trunk Cut Off Due To Being Trapped By Hunter

A baby elephant in Indonesia’s Sumatra island died on Tuesday after losing half its trunk in a trap set by poachers who prey on the endangered species, officials said, despite efforts to amputate and treat its wounds.

“We tried our best, but it couldn’t be helped,” said Agus Arianto, the head of Aceh province’s conservation agency. “Its trunk was getting rotten and no longer functioning.”

The one-year-old female was among the last of the island’s 700 wild Sumatran elephants. She was found very weak with a snare still embedded in her almost-severed trunk on Sunday in Alue Meuraksa, a forested village in the Aceh Jaya district, according to conservation officials.

Arianto told reporters that an autopsy was underway by a team of vets to determine the causes of the baby elephant’s death. He said that wildlife officials on Monday had to amputate half of the trunk in a life-or-death operation at an elephant training center near Banda Aceh, the provincial capital.

“Her death was shocking … because she looked fine after being amputated and [was] actively moving,” said Rika Marwari, a veterinarian at the center. “She suddenly fell ill from stress and infection late Monday and by morning she was reported dead.” Conservationists say that the coronavirus pandemic has led to increased poaching in Sumatra as villagers turn to hunt for economic reasons.

The number of Sumatran elephants that have died as a result of being snared or poisoned has reached 25 in the past nine years in East Aceh district alone, Arianto said. In July, an elephant was found without its head at a palm plantation in East Aceh. Police arrested a suspected poacher along with four people accused of buying ivory that came from the dead animal’s tusks.

The number of Sumatran elephants that have died as a result of being snared or poisoned has reached 25 in the past nine years in East Aceh district alone, Arianto said. In July, an elephant was found without its head at a palm plantation in East Aceh. Police arrested a suspected poacher along with four people accused of buying ivory that came from the dead animal’s tusks.

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