Critically endangered Sumatran elephant calf born in Indonesia

Jakarta, Nov 28 (EFE).- Way Kambas National Park in Indonesia celebrated the birth of a critically endangered Sumatran elephant calf on Tuesday, marking the second such birth in the country this year.

“The good news continues. The birth of a female Sumatran elephant calf this morning is the second in Way Kambas this year. This news should encourage us to continue making efforts for protected animals,” Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya told reporters.

The elephant calf, measuring 78 centimeters tall and weighing 78 kg, was born to parents Amel and Rendy. Veterinarians at Way Kambas National Park are closely monitoring and caring for the mother and calf.

The Sumatran elephant is a subspecies of the Asian elephant that is critically endangered, largely due to habitat loss and as a result of human-elephant conflict, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Sumatra has witnessed significant deforestation, leading to local extinctions of elephants in various areas.

Over two-thirds of its natural lowland forest has been cleared, with nearly 70 percent of the Sumatran elephant’s habitat destroyed in one generation, according to the WWF.

Sumatran elephants, known for smaller tusks, are targeted by poachers for the illegal ivory market.

With only male Asian elephants possessing tusks, poaching further skews the sex ratio, limiting breeding rates for the species, the fund says.

The World Wildlife Fund estimates that there are between 2,400 and 2,800 Sumatran elephants globally, with about a third of them residing in Sumatra.

The birth of the Sumatran elephant calf follows the recent birth of a critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros in the same park, marking the second such birth in 2023.

According to Indonesian authorities, there are less than 100 Sumatran rhinos in the four sanctuaries in the Indonesian archipelago that house this species. EFE


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