Campaign to rescue wild baby elephant Raja

Elephant Family have started a campaign to rescue wild baby elephant Raja.
Elephant Family have started a campaign to rescue wild baby elephant Raja. Credit: Jim Wickens/ITV News

UK elephant conservation charity, Elephant Family, have launched a campaign to rescue baby elephant Raja, captured by villagers in Indonesia a few weeks ago.

Watch: New law could leave Sumatran elephants homeless

Villagers are holding the baby elephant to ransom to ask their government to protect them from the fallout of the startling loss of habitat rapid deforestation is creating. As Jo Cary-Elwes from Elephant Family explains:

"The status of the Sumatran elephant was changed to “critically endangered” at the end of 2011, meaning they are in imminent danger of extinction. 85% of their habitat is located outside of protected areas and is constantly vulnerable to conversion.

"Forest conversion (for things like palm oil and paper pulp) results in conflict with humans: Stressed and starving herds are fleeing from the chainsaws in search of safety and food, as the elephants walk through farmland they destroy people’s crops and livelihoods."

Read: Elephants 'forced into villages by deforestation'

More: Elephant Family launch 'Save Baby Raja' campaign.

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Elephant deforestation threats

The Sumatran elephant the smallest of the Asian elephants, is critically endangered from illegal logging and habitat loss from huge palm oil plantations. Palm oil is used in hundreds of food and household products in the UK.