Pregnant Sumatran elephant found dead in Indonesia

Big and small elephant on green grass, animal news
Sumatran elephants in conservation center, photo: Marjorie Li via Canva

A pregnant Sumatran elephant was found dead from suspected poisoning in Indonesia, a conservation official said on Thursday. She was at the end of her pregnancy.

The elephant’s carcass was found next to a palm plantation in Riau province on Sumatra island. A plantation worker found the mother, who was 22 months pregnant, and alerted authorities.

“We estimated the female elephant to be around 25 years old. During the necropsy test we found that she was pregnant and was close to giving birth,” said Hartono from the Natural Resource Conservation Agency.

Hartono said they suspected poisoning because the mother had foam around her mouth when she was discovered.

Sumatran elephants are on the verge of extinction, with only around 2,400-2,800 left in the world, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Deforestation has reduced the elephants’ natural habitat and brought them into increasing conflict with humans.

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