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Jakarta Post

Right crops ‘may prevent’ elephant-human conflicts

  • Alya Nurbaiti


Jakarta   /   Mon, July 6 2020   /  01:00 am
People watch a Sumatran elephant at Ragunan Zoo in South Jakarta during holiday season in 2017. Holidaymakers enjoy the Idul Fitri holiday by visiting popular spots in Jakarta, including the zoo. (Antara/Reno Esnir)

As elephant-human conflicts continue to be reported in Sumatra amid massive deforestation that prompts the critically endangered species to go to plantations and human settlements to find food, an expert has suggested that planting the right crops may prevent such conflicts. Wahdi Azmi, director of the Aceh Conservation Response Unit, which aims to care for the elephant population, said Sumatran elephants were not familiar with oil palm fruit in the past. “But ever since the loss of their habitat to plantations, the fruit is what is available to them and they find it palatable. They raid oil palm plantations because they like eating the fruit,” he said during a virtual discussion on Friday. Aceh is home to the largest population of the critically endangered Sumatran elephants. More than 500 individuals of a population of around 2,500 of the elephants native to S...