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RM120K REWARD FOR INFORMATION ON PYGMY ELEPHANT KILLERS: WILDLIFE DEPT

Carcass of a female pygmy elephant found at Ladang Bintang Emas Property Sdn Bhd with head wound most probably from gunshot on Aug 25. SNT Pix/Courtesy of Sabah Wildlife Department

KOTA KINABALU: Yet another dead pygmy elephant has been found dead, this time a female aged between 12-15 that was found at Ladang Bintang Emas Property Sdn Bhd with head wound most probably from gunshot on Aug 25.

The latest discovery saw the total deaths rising to five in only one week and 25 so far this year.

According to the Wildlife Department, a team of rangers and veterinary officer was despatched to investigate and conduct post mortem on Aug 27 after receiving the report from Tongod district Forest Officer.

The carcass was mildly decomposing and the elephant was estimated to have died about a week earlier.

“The carcass was found to have a round shaped wound at the middle of the temple area which penetrated into the skull.

“The right temporal part of the skull was found to have severe bleeding and debris from the impact, most probably from a gunshot. No bullet found on the body.

“Death of the elephant is highly probably due to neurological damages caused to the brain,” said the department in a statement today.

A dead male elephant found in Ladang Dumpas with its tusk intact. SNT Pix/Courtesy of Sabah WIldlife Department

Responding to queries from the media in the department’s Whatsapp chat group, Wildlife Director, Augustine Tuuga said that as much as the department wanted to nab the culprits responsible for the killings but it was certainly not an easy task to detect them.

He said there was also no witness coming forward despite the RM120,000 reward offered by the Department for any information leading to the arrest of the culprits.

The rewards has been offered since five years ago while “investigation on the death of the 14 elephants in Gunung Rara is still not closed.”

“We also offered RM20,000 on the killing of the sabre elephant but nobody came forward,” he said, adding that it was not clear that nobody has come forward to provide information but it could also be that nobody really has the information.

The previous weeks, some of the elephants were found wounded by snare traps on their legs and later died due to infection while some were found dead floating on the river by tourists.

It was reported that although the snare traps laid along animal trails in forest reserves were meant to catch other animals like wild boars and deers but the pygmy elephants commonly fell victims to the devices.-SabahNewsToday

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