ALOR SETAR: At least three wild elephants were seen roaming the forest reserve in Padang Sanai, where a rubber tapper was trampled to death.
However, only one animal was involved in the death of Mat Juhid Osman (pic), 49, who died at the scene about 50km from here.
The victim’s brother Husin Osman, 53, they were about leave their fruit orchard when the elephant suddenly dashed out and attacked them.
“I managed to hide behind a tree, but my brother was a little late and was trampled by the elephant, the size of a Pajero four-wheel drive.
“My brother fell to the ground and the elephant stepped on his head and walked over his body before heading back into the jungle,” said Husin at the Kuala Nerang Hospital mortuary.
He said the incident happened at about 6.30pm on Friday, when he and his brother were tending to fruit trees in their orchard, about 5km from their house in Kampung Ulu, Padang Sanai.
Husin said they had planted some fruit tree saplings earlier in the morning and left for Friday prayers before returning to the orchard at about 3pm.
He said he had lodged numerous reports in the past about wild elephants in the area with the state Wildlife Department.
“But the officers merely came to see and left. Now, I have lost my brother,” he said.
Padang Terap district police chief Deputy Supt Noh Idris said the hospital alerted the police after the brother of the deceased sent him to the Kuala Nerang Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
“The deceased sustained head injuries and fractured one of his hand.
“His body will be sent to the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar for post-mortem,” he said.
There have been wild elephant sightings at the Padang Sanai forest reserve near Ahning Dam in the Padang Terap district recently.
Villagers had lodged reports with the Wildlife Department.
It is believed that human encroachment could have provoked the elephants there.