The pungent stench of an elephant carcass filled the acacia plantation. Estimates placed its death at six days before it was found on Nov. 18, 2019. Maggots filled the base of its severed trunk. Both tusks were missing, with only 10 centimeters (4 inches) of tusk visible from the animal’s skull before ending abruptly at unnatural cuts. Belonging to a critically endangered species with a population estimated to stand at around 1,500 individuals, the male Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) was found in a pulpwood concession operated by PT Arara Abadi in Bengkalis district, Riau province, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. PT Arara Abadi is a subsidiary of paper industry giant PT Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), part of the Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas Group. It was one of 40 remaining elephants that call Giam Siak Kecil Wildlife Reserve home — a home that includes, in large part, the pulpwood concession. The elephant carcass was reported by PT Arara Abadi management immediately upon its discovery. A subsequent necropsy found no evidence of poisoning, gunshot wounds, or injuries from snares, leading investigators to suspect poachers killed it by cutting off its head. The Riau provincial police have been handling the case, but have not arrested anyone in connection with the killing. That was more than a year ago. Two months later, also in the PT Arara Abadi concession, a team from the Riau conservation agency, or BKSDA, responded to a report of a 4-year-old elephant entangled in a nylon rope. A…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer