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Elephant patrols seek to protect Indonesia’s rainforests

General February 11, 2015

Indonesian mahouts deployed as forest rangers, ride their Sumatran elephants in Trumon, Aceh, January 25, 2015Elephants have joined the front line in the fight against poaching and illegal logging in the dense jungles of Sumatra. Guided by their Indonesian mahouts, they trek alongside rivers, over rough terrain and deep into the rainforest in an area that is home to numerous endangered species, from orangutans to tigers, but which has suffered devastating deforestation in recent years. The sprawling archipelago has large swathes of tropical forest but vast tracts are being felled to make way for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations, destroying biodiverse habitats and adding to greenhouse gas emissions. Poaching of endangered species is also common, with elephants killed for their ivory and tigers for their pelts.

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