MARK-3 on elephants in Indonesia

Elephants in Indonesia now being trained to help fight forest fires

The fires devastating Indonesia have been called a ‘crime against humanity’. How did they start, what damage are they causing and who’s to blame?
The most obvious damage is to the forest where the fires are occurring. Indonesia’s tropical forests represent some of the most diverse habitats on the planet. The current fire outbreak adds to decades of existing deforestation by palm oil, timber and other agribusiness operators, further imperilling endangered species such as the orangutan.

Officials in Indonesia are using trained elephants outfitted with water pumps and hoses to help patrol forests and control fires. Carrying water pumps and other equipment such as the MARK-3®, elephants and their crews patrol burned areas in the national forest to ensure that fires don’t reappear after smouldering beneath the peat lands.

Forestry Ministry officer, Supartono, said his teams were also training the elephants to help resolve conflicts between humans and wild elephants. He said the trained elephants were able to guide their wild cousins away from settlements where they had ventured, mainly due to the destruction of the elephants’ natural habitat by humans.

MARK-3 on elephants in Indonesia