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Elephant problem in W Aceh Indonesia

Hello,

My name is Beth Aminov. I work for a humanitarian organization named Food for the Hungry, in Indonesia. My husband, Scott, is currently serving as Country Director.

We are currently working inland in W Aceh, in a number of villages in the district of Panton Reu. These villages have been untouched and the people are extremely poor. Unfortunately, with the recent onslaught of deforestation and gold mining upstream the villagers are now facing many new challenges that are new to us as well. The largest problem we are facing right now stems from wild Sumatran elephants encroaching on the villages' agricultural land. Nothing our staff haved tried to keep the elephants away has worked. We have contacted the Indonesian Gov't and Dept. of Forestry as well but they don't have any solutions either. Just two weeks ago the elephants came in at night and broke into one village's rice store house and ate all of the rice. The villagers need the food and they are becoming more afraid as the elephants come without fear. These villagers also deal with the occasional Sumatran tiger as well.

We do not want to harm the animals, neither do the villagers, but something needs to be done and done quickly. We have a team already stationed out there who are willing to learn or assist.

Is there anything you can do? Any advice you can give? Maybe you'd have some folks who are in the area or willing to come who might be willing / able to assess the situation?

These people and animals are in need of help!

Thank you,

Beth Aminov
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  • Mim (Official Rep) July 26, 2012 12:41
    Hi Beth,
    Thanks for getting in touch, we appreciate your concern.
    I have pasted the contact details below of our WWF-Indonesia office, who may be able to help (or know someone locally who can): http://wwf.panda.org/who_we_are/wwf_o...

    Also we have a specific programme for Asian Rhinos and Elephants (AREAS), which deal with many issues including human-elephant conflict. The Programme Co-ordinator has a direct email link on this page:
    http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endan...

    And have a read here of how other communities in Africa have dealt with elephant conflicts with solutions such as chilli:
    http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/how_w...
    (Our AREAS Programme use similar methods)

    I hope this helps - please let us know of the outcome, and if you need anything further.

    Wishing you all the best and good luck,
    Mim
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