KOTA KINABALU: Efforts to find and destroy snare traps responsible for a number of injuries and deaths of Sabah’s critically endangered pgymy elephants have been carried out, says state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew.
She said wildlife officials had been on the ground doing this for some time.
“We hope plantation owners and anyone else who comes across snare traps can help by destroying them or informing the authorities immediately for the sake of our wildlife,” she said here yesterday.
Liew was speaking at a press conference after launching the Umbrelephant Campaign aimed at creating more awareness and efforts to protect elephants.
Dozens of elephants in Sabah’s east coast have been found dead while many others were rescued from snare traps over the past eight months.
Liew said the state government would continue to step up efforts to conserve and protect the pgymy elephants, whose numbers have gone down to about 2,000.
She said the decreasing number of the pygmy elephants was alarming.
“We must act now and help from all sides is needed, especially from estate owners and workers, as they work in areas where the elephants are usually found,” she added.
Meanwhile, efforts to conserve and protect pygmy elephants and other endangered wildlife in Sabah have been boosted with the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) between a private company and the state.
The MoA between Genting Plantations Bhd and Sabah Wildlife Department would see the oil palm estate managements leave out some 44ha of land to allow for elephant roaming.
Liew said the effort would see elephants and other wildlife having more space to roam.
“This will reduce the risk of human-elephant conflicts and prevent the elephants from walking into snare traps, which have caused many elephant deaths,” she said.
She also said the MoA would act as a pioneer project and hopefully encourage more plantations and estate owners to take part.
Liew said a campaign to instil love for animal protection among schoolchildren had also been introduced in schools.
Five schools from the outskirts have signed up to be part of the campaign so far.
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