KOTA KINABALU: A juvenile male Borneo pygmy elephant has been shot dead in Sabah's central Tongod district.
The carcass of the elephant was found by wildlife rangers at about 7.40am Monday (July 23) near Kg Karamuak, Tongod, some 260km from here.
Sabah Wildlife Department public relations officer Siti Nur’Ain Ampuan Acheh said a team from the Kinabatangan Wildlife office was sent to investigate the matter on Tuesday (July 24).
She said they team also conducted a post-mortem at the scene to determine the elephant's cause of death.
Siti said the post-mortem team found a wound on the elephant's right rump.
"The wound was traced and it led to the finding of a bullet pellet inside the abdomen," she said in a statement.
"Some parts of the intestines were torn. There was a severe internal bleeding inside the abdomen suggesting several blood vessels were damaged," she added.
Siti said the cause of death was from hypovolemic shock due to severe internal bleeding caused by the pellet.
She said from the position of the injury and the trajectory of the pellet, it was highly probable that the elephant was shot from close range from an elevated position or from the back of a vehicle.
According to information gathered during investigation, a herd of elephants have been spotted in Kg Karamuak for the past one month.
Siti added that the investigation will continue to find the perpetrator.