KOTA KINABALU: The elephant that killed an Indonesian plantation worker in the east coast Tawau district may be culled, said Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga.
He said rangers were now tracking down the animal and would be observing it before deciding on their next course of action.
“This is a protected animal. So, we have to be careful in whatever we do with it,” he said, adding that the department’s options were limited.
The bull elephant, said Augustine, was part of a herd of 30 animals roaming within the area in Kalabakan.
“We will observe the elephant and assess if it is a habitual offender and could harm humans again,” he said, adding that the animal was likely to have been in musth during the attack.
Musth is a state or condition of violent, destructive frenzy occurring with the rutting season in male elephants.
The 48-year-old worker was trampled to death by the elephant at the Dumpas timber plantation at Kalabakan on Saturday afternoon.
On Nov 9, a couple were attacked by a wild elephant in Brumas. Indonesian Susi Sudiman, 36, who was stomped on during the attack, suffered serious spinal injury as well as rib fractures while her husband, 40-year-old Santoko Santra, was slightly hurt in the chest after being hit by the elephant’s trunk.
The couple were having breakfast with five other workers at their work site when the attack occurred.
Augustine said the elephant in the latest case was different from the one that attacked the couple.