Indonesia uses trained elephants to control forest fires | Inquirer News
Close  

Indonesia uses trained elephants to control forest fires

/ 02:28 PM November 11, 2015

SIAK, Indonesia — 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

At the elephant conservation center 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 smoldering beneath the peat lands.

FEATURED STORIES

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 (25,000 acres) of forests and land have been burned in the province.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya says about 1.7 million hectares (4.2 million acres) of forests and plantation land have been razed by fires throughout Sumatra and Borneo.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Elephant, Fire, Forest, forest fire, Indonesia, Sumatra
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.