Stranded elephant calf to be in captive care for now


In safe hands: Veterinarians providing treatment to the elephant calf that strayed from its mother near a plantation in Tawau.

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife veterinarians looking after a stranded week-old Borneo pygmy elephant at a plantation in Tawau have decided to bring it into captive care to treat severe infections.

The Wildlife Rescue Unit team is in the process of transporting the female calf to the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary in Kinaba­tangan for further treatment.

It is believed that the calf had strayed from its mother which was in a satellite-collared herd foraging at a riparian reserve close to a plantation on Saturday morning.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the calf had injuries on its hind legs with severe infection of maggots in its umbilical area.

“Our veterinarians have removed the maggots and cleaned the wounds,” he said.

He said due to the severity of the wound, the vets had proposed that the calf undergo at least another week of treatment and observation, adding that whether the calf would be reunited with the mother would be decided later.

Veterinarians suspect that the calf could have sustained injuries while wandering for at least 72 hours on its own before workers on a lookout for elephants saw it.

Sabah Wildlife Rescue Unit veterinarians believe that the calf was likely to have been infected during the hours it was separated from its mother.

The vets also found that the calf was suffering from mild dehydration.


   

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