The Jakarta Post
The Jambi Natural Resources Conservation Agency is set to relocate three young elephants – two males and one female – to prevent inbreeding.
“The elephants have entered the reproduction period and are ready to mate. We’re trying to prevent elephants that share the same bloodline from mating because that's not good for their offspring,” agency head Rahmad Saleh told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
The elephants will be relocated from their current habitat in Bukit Tigapuluh National Park (TNBT) in Tebo regency to PT Restorasi Ekosistem (REKI) in Sarolangun regency, both in Jambi.
Rahmad said the relocation aimed to create new herds and preserve the species.
The agency recorded that there are currently eight herds consisting of 143 elephants in the national park’s corridor, two herds consisting of only seven elephants in Sarolangun regency and one herd of 38 elephants in Kerinci regency.
Furthermore, Rahmad said the relocation was expected to help prevent the poaching of elephant tusks, a practice that was common in the area. “Elephant poaching is a major threat to the species in the TNBT corridor,” he said.
The destruction of the elephants' habitat as a result of the conversion of their land from forests to company or individual-owned palm plantations has caused local residents to view the animals as "pests".
Rahmad said there were 188 cases of conflict between humans and elephants in the first half of the year in Jambi. Thus, the relocation is aimed to preserve the species.
The relocation will be assisted by NGO Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and take approximately 10 days.
Four trained elephants from the Minas Elephant Training Center in Riau will guide the three elephants in order to keep them calm during the relocation process. (sau)