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Jakarta Post

Elephants destroy oil palm plantation in Riau

Fri, January 18 2013 | 08:52 am

A herd of wild elephants have reportedly damaged an oil palm plantation in the Mandau and Pinggir districts of Bengkalis regency, Riau Islands.

Pardi Malin, a resident, said around 20 elephants had come to the village and damaged the six-month-old plants.

“During the rainy season, the wild elephants often come out of their natural habitat and search for food in the villages. We cannot predict when exactly they will appear, it’s sometimes in the morning, sometimes at midnight,” said Pardi.

The villagers usually hold a night watch to safeguard their villages. They try to chase away the animals by using firecrackers in an attempt to scare them.

A group of elephants also approached vocational high school SMKN 1 Pinggir in Balai Raja village and destroyed the students’ garden.

“The animals have been in the area for around two weeks,” said Parhimpunan Siregar, the headmaster.

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