Six elephants found dead in Indonesian jungle

Six rare, wild elephants were found poisoned to death in an Indonesian jungle Wednesday, their mouths black and covered with potassium cyanide, a conservationist said. Nurkalis Fadli from the World Wild Fund said he believed all the animals, who appeared to be from the same family, were intentionally killed.

The only male in the group had its tusks removed, he said. "This is an extraordinary crime," Fadli told reporters in Riau province on Sumatra island. "Whoever did this must have known that Sumatran Elephants are extremely rare and protected by our laws."

The animals, including one young elephant, were found close together near Mahato, a village 300 kilometers (180 miles) north of Riau's capital Pekanbaru. Fadli said it appeared they had been dead for about a week.

Their habitat is quickly shrinking because of illegal logging and land clearing, and villagers often complain the animals venture into human settlements looking for food. Pekanbaru is 900 kilometers (560 miles) northwest of Indonesia 's capital, Jakarta , reports the AP.


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