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Elephants kill mother, daughter in Indonesia

world Updated: May 28, 2007 11:32 IST

Wild elephants trampled a woman and her child to death on Indonesia's Sumatra island, an official said on Monday.

A herd of several elephants descended on a village just outside the Bukit Barisan Selatan national park on Saturday and attacked residents, said Lusman Pasaribu, the head of the park.

Police and forest rangers later found the bodies of the woman and her three-year-old daughter.

Pasaribu said villagers had been told to relocate because elephants were frequenting the area, but many had refused.

"They say their existence is more important than elephants. But I think as rational people we should not pit ourselves against the animals," he told Reuters.

The WWF conservation group says fewer than 2,000 Sumatran elephants remain in the wild and the population continues to decline owing to a shrinking habitat and poaching.