Pekanbaru. The head of the Riau Elephant Conservation Center died on Friday after being trampled by a 20-year-old elephant at the center’s Minas training center.
M. Taat was checking the health of an elephant named Reno when the large animal attacked him, conservation division head of Natural Resources Conservation Center Riau Syahimin, told Antara news agency on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, he was alone when the incident happened,” Syahimin said. “Other employees noticed it after he called for help.”
Conservation center staff said it was unlikely the attack was intentional.
“If the elephant had intended to hurt [Taat], he would have had trampled him repeatedly,” Syahimin said. “The elephant remained calm after the incident happened.”
Taat suffered broken bones in the attack, but chose to undergo traditional treatment instead of being hospitalized. He succumbed to his injuries on Friday.
“This is a deep loss for us as we’re losing a very senior official,” Syahidin said.