Pygmy Joe

First Light Productions

The recent mass poisoning of elephants in Africa is a reminder that such mindless brutality is anything but rare.

Last January, rangers of the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve in Northeastern Borneo came upon a baby pygmy elephant, nudging his dead mother, trying to get her to rise and feed him. Four other members of his herd lay on the ground nearby.

The rotting carcasses of six other members of the herd had been found earlier that month.  Four more were found in the days to come. Initial autopsies revealed they were all suffering from severe bleeding and gastrointestinal ulcers, indicating they had been poisoned.

Unlike elephants poached for their tusks, these animals were killed because they posed problems for palm oil plantations which are gobbling up many of the country’s forests.

Poisoning of elephants in Borneo has become routine. Every year, at least a dozen elephants are found either poisoned…

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