NGO offers its help to solve Sabah elephant deaths


KOTA KINABALU: A non-governmental environmental group comprising members from various professional backgrounds is offering help solve elephant death issues in Sabah.

Sabah Environment Action Group (SEAG) chairman Mohammad Iskandar Shah Ali said news of elephants and other wildlife deaths have been reported numerous times over the years, with the most recent involving two elephants at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.

“While NGOs are know mostly to be ‘watchdogs’ or groups to keep the government in check, we in SEAG are ready to take things to the next level,” he said in a statement.

“We are ready to offer our database of professionals and consultants to help the government solve these problems,” he said.

Mohammad said SEAG members were from various sectors including science, engineering and technology and could advise the government on technical aspects in ensuring that animals’ lives are given priority.

As for the deaths in the Lok Kawi Wildlife park, he said the immediate step was to temporarily shut down the park.

He said the management should work on addressing matters relating to the animals’ welfare, upgrade and improve exhibits or enclosures of animals, sort out breeding programmes and put in place animal adoption programmes before considering reopening the park.

“We can also work with other relevant NGOs in and out of the country,” Mohammad said.

He said the government has introduced numerous conservation plans and programmes, action plans, adoption programmes, seminars and workshops in their bid to tackle environmental and wildlife issues in the state.

“But why is it that the government has not been able to use any of these tools to fix the problems and mistakes in our system?” he asked.

Mohammad said the longer it takes the government to do something, the more animals will die.

Apart from looking at wildlife issues, the SEAG is also helping to address environmental problems including palm oil waste and floating rubbish.

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