KOTA KINABALU: A bull Borneo pygmy elephant which was part of a herd in conflict with villagers in east coast Beluran district for about three years has been captured with the help of wildlife rangers and local villagers.
After nearly two weeks of tracking the movements of the elephants at Kg Ulu Muanad, they managed to capture the bull on Thursday, said Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Augustine Tuuga.
It is now waiting to be translocated to an area far away from Ulu Maunad, Tuuga said without disclosing the location.
The department was still tracking three more remaining elephants to capture and translocate them as soon as possible and put an end to the prolonged conflict, he added.
The human-elephant conflict at Ulu Muanad, he said, began festering in November 2015.
The elephants have been blamed for losses of up to RM200,000 a year in crop damage among others.
To address the issue, the Sandakan Wildlife Office has been working closely with the local community, The Forest Trust and IJM Plantation in Ulu Muanad since the start of the conflict.
Wildlife conservationists here are concerned about the spike in death rates of elephants in the wild with some 16 found dead since April this year.
The cause of deaths have yet to be ascertained as post-mortems provided no conclusive evidence for wildlife rangers on the case.
Most recently, an elephant was killed by a hunter’s snare.