A Sumatran elephant calf has died after she lost half her trunk in a trap set by poachers in Indonesia.
The young female, who is one of 700 elephants on the island of Sumatra, died despite the best efforts from wildlife officials to treat her.
Sumatran elephants are considered critically endangered with a population of just 2,400 to 2,800 in the world.
Villagers in the town of Aceh Jaya found the one-year-old calf after she had been left by her herd for being caught in the trap. She was brought to a conservation agency to be treated.
A baby elephant in Indonesia had to have half of her trunk amputated after she became caught in what authorities said was a trap set by poachers. The 1-year-old is among the 700 remaining Sumatran elephants on Indonesia's Sumatra island. https://t.co/gyXStcvVmT
- The Associated Press (@AP) November 15, 2021
The agency tried to save the calf's life by amputating its trunk, but the infection was already too far gone and she died two days later.
"We couldn't save it because the injury was severe and infected," Agus Arianto, head of the Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency said.
"We did our best to help it."
The Sumatran elephant is under threat due to rapid rates of deforestation in its natural habitat of Borneo and Sumatra, elephant-human conflict and ivory poaching.
"This obviously was intended to poach endangered animals to earn money," Arianto said in a statement.
"We will cooperate with law enforcement agencies in an investigation."
Tigers and rhinos in the region are also facing the threat of extinction as their habitats are destroyed to make room for palm oil plantations.
The calf's death is the most recent in a string of poacher-related deaths, with poaching numbers rising during the pandemic as locals face economic hardship.
An elephant was found in July beheaded in a palm plantation in East Aceh. A poacher has been arrested for the crime, along with four people who are accused of buying ivory from the animal.
If found guilty, they face up to five years in prison and a fine of 100 million rupiah ($9,662 AUD).
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