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Elephant squashes man to death

jeudi 27 juillet 2006

Jakarta - A 64-year-old Indonesian man has been killed by elephants rampaging through a hamlet on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, officials and state media reported on Thursday.

The man was asleep inside his house when five elephants stormed through Pulo Panggung district in Lampung province on Wednesday night, local police chief Mulyadi said.

He said one elephant grabbed the man with its trunk and squashed him to death while the other four destroyed two houses.

"They are still roaming around in the area. We are co-ordinating with elephant handlers from the forestry ministry to handle this matter because we are prohibited by law to kill them," Mulyadi told AFP.

The WWF conservation group said in April that elephants in Sumatra, the only Indonesian island where they are found, were dying at an alarming pace. Their numbers have fallen by 75% in just 18 years.

As of 2003, only about 354 to 431 elephants remained, the group said. The natural habitat of elephants is being increasingly taken over by resettlement, plantations and industrial forest estates.

News 24 July 27, 2006

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