Aceh BKSDA sanguine about communities sharing space with wildlife

Aceh BKSDA sanguine about communities sharing space with wildlife

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Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA) – The Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) expressed optimism about communities, especially in Pidie District, sharing their space with wildlife, such as elephants, in a bid to minimize human-animal conflicts.

“Conflicts between wild elephants and humans often occur in Pidie, so it is necessary to share the space with elephants, so that they can live together in their respective areas without harming each other,” Aceh BKSDA Region I Head Kamaruzzaman remarked here on Saturday.

Kamaruzzaman made this statement in response to reports of wild elephants rummaging through residents’ plantation land in Gampong/Cot Cantek Village, Sakti Sub-district, Pidie, on Friday (September 30).

He explained that the forest where protected animals live and move around was not in a good condition since humans no longer cared for nature in addition to irresponsible actions of illegal logging and the changing forest function.

According to Kamaruzzaman, the path traveled by wild animals in search of food had become narrower, as the ecosystems were damaged and consequently led to human conflicts with animals.

Moreover, Kamaruzzaman noted that the path usually treaded upon and the places inhabited by elephants no longer existed. He said irresponsible parties had harmed the animals’ habitats.

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Hence, to prevent human-elephant conflicts in Pidie District, his side had accompanied elephants to return to their original habitat despite them often returning to the residents’ plantation land.

“Currently, the team is a little constrained by having to divide personnel to go down because conflicts often occur at the same time,” he remarked.

Earlier, a herd of wild elephants damaged 24 hectares of productive crops owned by residents in Cot Cantek, Sakti Sub-district, Pidie District.

“The residents are afraid of going back to the plantation because the elephants are still hiding there,” a village chief stated on Friday (September 29). 

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