KOTA KINABALU: A herd of about 30 elephants that rampaged a village in Sabah’s central Telupid region three days ago have begun returning to their natural habitat at the Tangkalung forest reserve, says the state Wildlife Department.
Department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan, who is monitoring the movement, said rangers had to restrain two of the herd’s more aggressive females.
The two females were tranquillised on Tuesday because they kept charging at the rangers.
Dr Sen said two lorries had been arranged to transport the two elephants to the Dermakot forest reserve.
“Rangers have been monitoring the rest of the herd at Kampung Bauto, about 300km from here. Some of the members of the herd have left the village and are heading into the forest about 15km away,” he said yesterday.
He said the rangers expected the elephants to return to the forest while the two females were being moved to Dermakot.
“We need to send the two females deeper into the forest as they are too aggressive and can pose a problem to villagers and plantations,” he added.
Wildlife officials have warned that there was an increase in human-elephant conflict due to the shrinking natural habitat.
Meanwhile, state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said his ministry planned to come up with a long-term mitigation solution to the problem.