KOTA KINABALU: A dead elephant calf has reportedly been spotted tied to a tree by the Sungai Udin riverbank in Dumpas, Tawau district.
The calf, believed to have been killed by gunshots due to a large hole on its back, is said to have been discovered by anglers on Wednesday (Sept 25).
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said they were alarmed by photos of the calf which are circulating on social media.
“We received photos and forwarded texts of the find, and I have instructed my rangers to go and check its authenticity, ” he said when contacted on Thursday (Sept 26).
He said apart from rangers, vets and a post-mortem team would also head to the area mentioned to investigate soon.
Tuuga said they would need to verify whether the photos and information being circulated were true, and if they found the carcass, investigations on its cause of death and perpetrators would be conducted immediately.
The text which accompanies the photos social media, which look like they were taken from a screenshot photo of a Facebook Page, said the calf was purposely tied to the tree to prevent it from being swept away by river currents.
The message also said it could be that the calf was tied there to feed crocodiles.
Futhermore, the cause of death was unclear but if someone had shot it (based on the wound on its back), then the person was inhumane.
The message also urged the authorities to investigate the case.