KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government is in the midst of identifying land and suitable areas to rehabilitate wild animals in a bid to better protect wildlife.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) said he has instructed state Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Christina Liew to identify areas suitable for the breeding of wildlife including the near extinct Sumatran rhinos and pygmy elephants.
Thanking the Indonesian government for their pledge to help save the rhinos in Sabah by agreeing to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for this purpose, he said it was the only move available to save rhinos from extinction.
For the state government's part, he said they want to emulate Africa where the country sets aside some 1, 000 acres of land for elephants to roam freely.
"This not only allows wildlife to breed freely, it also attracts tourists, " Mohd Shafie said after Hari Raya Aidiladha prayers in Semporna on Sunday (Aug 11).
He said forests in Sabah should also be protected and preserved as they are sanctuaries for wildlife.
"Forests provide a food source for animals too, " said the Senallang assemblyman.
Due to the loss of their natural habitat, these wildlife will start to wander closer to the villages and resulting in human-animal conflicts, he added.
He said humans must try to protect animals as they are the creations of God as well.