TELUPID: Despite the reward of RM120,000, no one has come forth with any information on the culprits who caused the deaths of 25 Borneo pygmy elephants in the state this year.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the reward has been around for the past five years.
“Investigation into the deaths of the 14 elephants in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve (in 2013) is still not closed.
“We also offered RM20,000 on the killing of the elephant with ‘sabre’ tusks (in 2017) but nobody came forward,” he said.
The bulk of the 25 deaths were discovered in the past four months.
The causes of the deaths ranged from gunshot injuries to wounds incurred from traps set up by hunters and other unknown causes.
Elephants that are injured by trapping devices will develop infections before they die.
WWF Malaysia said that snares are commonly used by poachers along animal trails in forest reserves bordering plantations with the intention of catching wild boars and deer. Though elephants are very rarely the target of poachers, they commonly fall victim to these devices as they use the same trails as other wildlife.
In the latest case, a female elephant was found dead at Ladang Bintang Emas Property Sdn Bhd in Tongod here on Saturday.
SWD public relations officer Siti Nur’ain Ampuan Acheh said the case was reported to the department by the Tongod district forest officer.
“SWD despatched a team of rangers and veterinary officer to investigate and conduct post-mortem on the animal on Monday.
“The carcass was mildly decomposing. It is believed to have died about a week earlier,” she said.