KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife authorities investigating the killing of two Borneo pygmy elephants over the past week are gathering details about the poachers.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said their rangers had questioned workers of the plantations where the elephant carcasses were recovered.
“We are gathering information about the poachers. We believe they were from outside the plantations,” he said yesterday.
Augustine said the department was working with the police to track down the killers of the elephants.
“We are hopeful that we will eventually get them,” he added.
Malaysians were shocked by the discoveries of the elephant carcasses near the Kawag Forest Reserve on Dec 27, and just outside the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve on Dec 31.
The carcass of the first bull was found in the middle of an estate bordering the forest reserve while the second pachyderm with reverse tusks, known to researchers as Sabre, was discovered on New Year’s Eve about 1.5km away.
Sabre had been wearing a satellite collar after he was rescued from a plantation near Tawau and released to the reserve three months ago.
Research organisation Danau Girang Field Centre director Dr Benoit Goossens said satellite data indicated Sabre was killed on Nov 21.
There are an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 pygmy elephants in Sabah’s forests.