A Sumatran elephant trained to help reduce human-elephant conflict in Indonesia’s Tesso Nilo National Park gave birth to a female calf. Named Harmoni Rimbo, meaning “the harmony of the jungle,” this little elephant is the third birth for mother Ria, one of the four trained adult Sumatran elephants in the elite Elephant Flying Squad. When elephants wander into human inhabited areas in search of food—which happens more frequently as human settlements encroach on elephant habitat—the result is often damaged crops and property. WWF and the Indonesia Ministry of Forests established the Elephant Flying Squad in 2004 to address human-elephant conflict in Tesso Nilo. Trained elephants like Ria, along with their handlers called mahouts, drive back wild elephants into the forest when they stray too close to villages or farms surrounding the park. The birth is a significant step in the conservation of this critically endangered elephant species.
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