Indonesia uses trained elephants to control forest fires

2015-11-11 09:36
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Siak - Officials in Indonesia are using trained elephants outfitted with water pumps and hoses to help patrol forests and control fires.

For nearly three months, Riau province in East Sumatra has been blanketed by smoke from forest fires and land clearing, especially in peat-rich areas where flames are difficult to contain.

At the elephant conservation centre in Siak district, 23 trained elephants are being used as "forest watchdogs".

Carrying water pumps and other equipment, elephants and their crews patrol burned areas in the national forest to ensure that fires don't reappear after smouldering beneath the peat lands.

Supartono, the head of the Riau Forestry Division who uses one name, said the elephants had earlier been trained to help patrol forests to find people encroaching illegally, as well as to resolve frequent conflicts between wild elephants and people by driving the wild elephants that enter human settlements back to their habitats.

So far, Indonesia has been unable to put out the raging fires this year because of intentional burning and a rain shortage.

Much of the forest land that was burned in the past 17 years was converted into oil palm and pulp plantations. Data from the Riau Forest Fire Prevention Taskforce show more than 10 000 hectares  of forests and land have been burned in the province.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya says about 1.7 million hectares of forests and plantation land have been razed by fires throughout Sumatra and Borneo.

Read more on:    indonesia  |  animals

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.