Elephant Calves Died Due To Lack of Care | WWF Indonesia

Elephant Calves Died Due To Lack of Care



Posted on 25 July 2005   |  
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by: Samsuardi
Human and elephant often fight to use the same space since both like using similar land categories. However, in the battle of finding space human beings often hamper elephants in some manners. In this condition, elephant calves are the ones that threatened the most due to their physical weakness and inability to understand threats. Six elephant calves exposed to such threat between June, 2004 to July, 2005. Unfortunately, five of them were unable to survive. Four died in Minas Elephant Center, and one died in nature of an unidentified cause.

Fajar, one of the calves that had been died,
Photo doc: Samsuardi/WWF-Indonesia
Four calves (Dini, Fajar, Rohit and Seno) had been separated or abondened by their groups and later captured by the community and evacuated to Minas Elephant Training Center. Dini and Seno were found and captured by local community in the district of Rokan Hulu on January, 2005 and April, 2005. Rohit was found and captured by community in Indragiri Hulu district in June ,2004, while Fajar in Bengkalis district in January, 2005. One of the other two elephants was captured along with its mother by the Nature Conservation authority (BKSDA) in Bengkalis district on January, 2005, while the other one was found dead in the concession of PT. RAPP's Ukui sector in June, 2005.

When first captured, the physical condition of these calves were relatively good except Dini who get injured on her front left leg. Their condition began to drop due to community's lack of knowledge in looking after the elephants. For example, very tight tie had caused injury and infection especially in elephant legs. The longer they stay under community's nursery, the worse their condition is .

Seno, the only calf who is still alive,
Photo doc: Samsuardi/WWF-Indonesia,
After months staying in Elephant Training Center, the condition of these calves even worse. Four out of five elephant calves which stay in Minas Elephant Training Center died. The main factor is mainly due to bad condition of nursery system, besides also many calves were still breastfed when separated from their mother.

Seno is the only calf survive as he is relatively bigger and no longer depends on breastfeeding. Injuries on this 3 years old calf's back legs and right ear still can be seen though they began to heal now. However, this calf has some deficiencies although he looks physically healthy. The trunk cannot function normally, for example to hold something and to take food from right direction. Staying about three months in the Elephant Training Center, Seno's phycisal condition is even worrisome due to lack of food. To address this condition, since June 2005, WWF has recruited a senior veterinarian to help the elephants' health care in Minas Elephant Training Center. His job also covers distributing milk and additional food to the remaining calf.
  Samsuardi

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