From the Wilderness of Riau: Deploy Tame Elephants to Ward Off The Wild Ones, Sick Tapir Rescued

Riau Natural Resources Conservation Center is committed to mitigate conflict between wild animals and humans.

A team from the Riau Natural Resources Conservation Center investigate (BBKSDA) a group of wild elephants that have been destroying gardens for about two months on Saturday, November 12 2021. The information was received from the residents of Kota Garo Village, Tapung Hilir District, Kampar Regency. 

The group of elephants are surviving in the vicinity and may endanger both the animals themselves and humans.

The team then deployed three tamed elephants to help them warding off the wild elephant out of the area. Previously, conventional herding had not been successful.

Tamed elephants were deployed to help herding wild elephants safely. (Photo: Riau BBKSDA)
Tamed elephants were deployed to help herding wild elephants safely. (Photo: Riau BBKSDA)

The team coordinated with members of the Sector Police, Military NCO (BABINSA), and Kota Garo village officials to discuss plans and strategies to safely chase away the wild elephants.

The team conducted a survey to determine the position of the wild elephants and immediately tried to herd them away. By nightfall, the team had not succeeded, the wild elephants was persistent. The animals only circled at the location because there were so many people watching. The elephant's exit was blocked. 

The team evaluated the failures. That night, at around 21.00 Western Indonesia Time, the team again carried out manual herding and guarding.

The next day, the team resumed to herd the wild elephants out of oil palm plantations area, with the help of tame elephants. This time, the wild elephants were separated into 2 groups, where the first group consisted of 3 individuals located around the community gardens. The second group consisted of 8 individuals located on the outskirts of the Tapung Kanan river, but still on the outskirts of the residents' gardens. 

It is suspected that the herd of wild elephants did not want to cross the river because of the flooded river. La Nina phenomenon has brought high rainfall in Indonesia and has caused flooding in various regions.

When the information was published by BBKSDA Riau on November 16, 2021,  the team is still at the location of the disturbance to carry out maintenance and monitoring.

Sick Tapir Rescue

On Saturday, November 13, 2021, an effort to evacuate Tapir ( Tapirus indicus ) was carried out by the Riau KSDA Team. A report from residents on Friday night, November 12, 2021, stated that there was a Tapir with an injured eye roaming around a resident's garden in the village of Lubuk Ambacang, Hulu Kuantan District, Kuantan Singingi Regency.

On the next day, the Rescue Team from KSDA Region I Rengat and the medical team from Pekanbaru were immediately dispatched to the location. The team aslo coordinated with the Lubuk Ambacang Village Secretary (Mr. Imas) to guide them to the injured Tapir. The animal which is also often refereed as Cipan has a distinct black and white fur. 

The team then headed to the location with the village secretary and several residents. According to the statement from the locals, the Tapir had been in the garden area for one day. 

Team from conservation center and locals rescue a sick Tapir. (Photo: BBKSDA Riau)
Team from conservation center and locals rescue a sick Tapir. (Photo: BBKSDA Riau)

The team carried out first aid with wound treatment and infection prevention to the edge of Tapir's right eye and carried out further health examination.  

The Tapir is identified as a male, about 5 years old. The handsome animal is measured to 1 meter and 20 cm long. Unfortunately, it is in weak condition and there is a  rotting wound on ​​the edge of its right eye. The Tapir is calm and docile. It does not appear to be afraid of the humans around it. 

The team, then, also provided socialization related to protected animals including tapirs as well as efforts to handle wildlife conflicts. The team hopes that residents will always communicate with the Riau KSDA Center regarding the existence of protected wildlife.

Seeing that the condition of the injured Tapir was quite serious, the team decided to evacuate it to the animal transit enclosure of the Riau KSDA Center for intensive care. Tapir arrived at the transit cage on Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 01.15 local time.

The BBKSDA Riau have also thanked the people of Lubuk Ambacang Village for their efforts to protect the injured Tapir as one of the protected animals until the team came to the location.

This is the second time the conservation center in Riau rescued a tapir since October 28, 2021. Previously, a female Tapir was found in a snare trap. The animal's leg was badly mangled by the rope. 

The female Tapir which was rescued last October was reportedly recovering well. (Photo: BBKSDA Riau)
The female Tapir which was rescued last October was reportedly recovering well. (Photo: BBKSDA Riau)

The public is advised not to set a snare for any reason because it is is a violation of the Article 40 of Law Number 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Biological Natural Resources and Their Ecosystems. 

Anyone who finds violations or suspicious activities related to hunting or trading of wild animals has been advised to contact the call center of Riau KSDA at 081374742981.