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Sumatran Elephant Poisoning In Indonesia Is Second Since April

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SUMATRAN ELEPHANT INDONESIA
Rangers examine a dead Sumatran elephant allegedly poisoned by villagers who later took its tusks, in Aceh Jaya, Aceh province, Indonesia, Wednesday, May 16, 2012. It was the second Sumatran elephant found dead of poisoning in the region in less than one month. A 18-year-old female was found dying last April, but rangers tried in vain to save her. (AP Photo/Heri Juanda) | AP

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — An official says a second endangered Sumatran elephant has been poisoned in western Indonesia, apparently by villagers trying to protect their crops.

Forestry Ministry official Harmidi says the carcass of the 20-year-old male elephant was discovered Wednesday near a plantation in Aceh province.

Harmidi, who uses only one name, says a group of elephants had been wandering in the area in recent days, roaring and destroying crops.

An 18-year-old female died in Aceh after being poisoned in late April.

As forests disappear, elephants stray into inhabited areas in search of food.

Fewer than 3,000 Sumatran elephants are left in the wild and environmentalists warn that they could be extinct within three decades unless steps are taken to protect them.

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