Wild elephants go on rampage in Riau
PEKANBARU: A herd of wild elephants has reportedly gone on a rampage in two regencies in Riau in the past few weeks, destroying dozens of hectares of oil palm farms.
In Rokan Hilir regency, seven wild elephants were seen roaming around Sekeladi Hilir village, Tanah Putih district, and had damaged at least 20 hectares of oil palm plantations.
“They ate the palm shoots and toppled many of the oil palm trees,” said Sekeladi Hilir village chief Hamsar on Wednesday.
According to Hamsar, the herd of elephants, which consisted of four calves and three adults, usually entered farms at night and returned to the woods at daytime.
“The elephants also devour banana trees and then rest near the village until dawn,” he said. “They come here periodically, to the same location near the Rokan River banks.”
Hamsar added he had coordinated with the Riau Natural Resources Conservation Center, but the team that it promised had yet to arrive. To prevent the elephants from venturing near their homes, villagers set bonfires and conducted patrols.
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