KOTA KINABALU: Malaysians must end their silence over the rampant killing of elephants in Sabah because it is a crime against the nation’s heritage, WWF-Malaysia said.
Its executive director and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said that if Malaysians stay quiet, the killers would see it as a sign of weakness.
“It (silence) sends a strong signal to these killers that we support the cold-blooded murder of elephants,” he said in a statement.
He said WWF-Malaysia was appalled by the latest elephant death in Tawau, when it was reported on Nov 16 that a bull elephant was found shot dead.
“The gruesome death at Ladang Cenderamata of Sabah Softwoods Bhd ... is both shocking and infuriating, as this is the seventh reported death of a totally protected species within the last 14 months,” Dr Dionysius said.
“This heinous crime demands a thorough investigation and the arrest of the culprits so that they can be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” he said, adding that the elephants’ protected status was not being taken seriously.
He said whether the elephants were killed by poachers or in heated confrontations with humans, the fact remains that the country’s elephants have been killed at the rate of about one every two months since October last year.
“For an endangered species that numbers fewer than 2,000, as estimated back in 2010, and is mostly found in Sabah, this crime is beyond worrying,” Dr Dionysius said.
No one has been arrested over the elephant killings because information is scarce and there are no clues as to the killers’ identities.
“This elephant killing is a crime against Malaysians. Borneo elephants are our green heritage and should be protected,” he added.
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