• This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Earth.Org Newsletters

    Get focused newsletters especially designed to be concise and easy to digest

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Environmental News, Data Analysis, Research & Policy Solutions. Read Our Mission Statement

Sumatran Elephant Birth Marks Progress in Indonesia’s Conservation Efforts

CRISIS - Mass Extinction by The International Elephant Project Asia Apr 15th 20242 mins
Sumatran Elephant Birth Marks Progress in Indonesia’s Conservation Efforts

The recent birth of a Sumatran elephant calf at Way Kambas National Park in Indonesia’s Lampung province highlights a significant achievement in the conservation of the species.

On November 28, 2023, a female elephant named Riska gave birth to a healthy male calf, weighing 108 kilograms (238 pounds). The pair are residing in the park’s Elephant Response Unit (ERU) at Bungur. The mother and baby have been receiving care from the park’s Wildlife Ambulance.

The Wildlife Ambulance, led by International Elephant Project (IEP) senior veterinarian Dr Christopher Stremme, conducts regular medical treatment and healthcare for all captive elephants and supports projects to conserve and monitor wild elephants. This includes antenatal and postpartum care of mothers and babies.

The global population of Sumatran elephants is estimated to be between 2,400 and 2,800, placing them in the “Critically Endangered” category. 

The species faces numerous threats, including poaching for ivory, habitat destruction due to deforestation, and escalating human-elephant conflicts as their natural habitats shrink.

“Donor-funded efforts protect crucial habitats for elephants, tigers and other threatened species that inhabit the Way Kambas National Park. We are grateful for this support in protecting such a crucial area,” said IEP’s Project Manager Dr Alexander Moßbrucker.

The recent birth event is part of a series of positive developments in the park, indicating potential advancements in conservation practices.

Way Kambas National Park covers 125,631 hectares and is crucial for the survival of over 10% of the wild Sumatran elephant population. The park also serves as a habitat for other endangered species, including the Sumatran rhino, tiger, and tapir.

Alongside the Wildlife Ambulance, ranger teams vigilantly patrol the vast landscape to combat poaching and other illegal activity, as well as monitor and care for captive and wild elephants.

“[Our patrol teams] conduct regular anti-poaching patrols in key areas for elephants and other wildlife. This provides the basis for natural population growth in the park,” said Moßbrucker.

Featured image: The International Elephant Project

More on the topic: A New Monitoring System to Protect the Last Remaining Asian Elephants

About the Author

The International Elephant Project

The International Elephant Project (IEP) is a not-for-profit project for elephant conservation, rainforest protection and local community partnerships, in order to protect an save the entire ecosystem and biodiversity of habitats shared by elephants. Run by The Orangutan Project (TOP) Board, IEP was formed to conserve elephant’s entire ecosystem in a holistic manner.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Hand-picked stories weekly or monthly. We promise, no spam!

Instagram @earthorg Follow Us