News In Brief

New paths for wild elephants - via vocational school

Indonesian authorities plan to send rampaging wild elephants in Sumatra to vocational school to turn them into entertainers or loggers. Parliament has approved a $660,000 appropriation to set up two elephant training centers near Lampung, Sumatra, with the help of 20 elephant trainers from Thailand and Burma and eight trained elephants to serve as models. Three-year training courses will be offered for elephants under 21 years old.

Wild Sumatra elephants occasionally rampage through villages, gorging on sugar cane, rice, and bananas. In 1982, the Indonesian armed forces led about 250 wild elephants on a 31-mile trek to a new forest preserve after the herd harassed new settlements in southeast Sumatra.

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