KOTA KINABALU: An injured juvenile male pygmy elephant, which villagers thought was dead, is being nursed back to health.
The elephant was found by Perdana Estate workers in Sabah’s central Telupid district on May 22, after which they alerted wildlife rangers.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said rangers went to the site and were surprised to find that the elephant was still alive.
“It turned out that the elephant had a wound on its back that was infested with maggots.
“Our rangers and vets immediately treated the wound as the elephant could not even stand,” he said when contacted.
Tuuga said the elephant was aged between five and seven years and that they were not sure what had caused the injury.
“We don’t know if it was shot as we did not find bullet shells nearby,” he added.
Tuuga said they also tried feeding it but during its first week under their care, it did not want to eat.
“But 11 days into our treatment, it is now responding well and has started to eat,” he said.
He said the elephant was still not able to stand on its own.
“Once it is well and can walk, we will release it back to the wild,” he added.
Borneo Pygmy elephants are critically endangered animals.
It is estimated that there are no more than 1,500 of them left in the world.
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