Yongki the Elephant Killed, WWF Urged Investigation to Seize the KillerLampung – The sad news arrived on Friday morning 07.30, 18th September 2015. Yongki, a male 34 years old elephant , 3,3 tons in weight found death without his tusks. Yongki was one of flying squad elephants in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. Flying squad is a group of elephants trained to mitigate human – elephant conflict.
The body of Yongki was found by one of the Mahouts who was about to check another flying squad elephant, Karnangin. When was found, Yongki was in position with his head turned to the right. There were no evidence of struggle nor damage bush or tree around him, and the chain still tied onto his legs.
After finding him dead, Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park Team and mahouts tracked the surrounding area up to 300 meter in radius, but found no evidence that could lead to identify the cause of Yongki’s death. The Park Team and NGOs Team continued the search and conducted autopsy. Initial observation indicated his tusks was cut off by chainsaw, no bubble on his tongue, only a small wound and the surround location stays intact.
This is a serious hit to elephant conservation effort in Sumatera. In respond to this tragic incident, Anwar Purwoto, Director of Sumatra – Borneo WWF Indonesia said, “Comprehensive investigation effort is required by the Authority to identify and seize the killer. Also important to take mitigation action to avoide another incident in the future.”
As part of further investigation of Yongki’s death, at least 10 specimens from the location are sent to Forensic Laboratorium Center of Indonesia Police and Bogor Agriculture Institute (IPB) Laboratorium. Initial investigation by the veterinary indicated that the cause of death by poison or anesthetic. By recommendation of the veterinary, Yongki’s corpse has already burned to avoid possible spread of diseases.