KOTA KINABALU: A United Kingdom-based international conservation group has upped the reward pool money to RM30,000 for information leading to the capture of poachers behind the merciless killing of a bull Borneo Pygmy elephant.
Orangutan Appeal founder Sue Sherward pledged RM10,000 to the RM20,000 already offered by the Sabah Wildlife Department and an anonymous citizen.
"I would like to pledge RM 10,000 into the reward pool for any information that will lead to the successful capture and prosecution of elephant poachers of Sungai Udin Tawau.
"This is the right thing to do and I hope more Malaysians can step up and assist in capturing these cruel elephant poachers," Sherward said in describing the killing of the bull as "heinous and shocking."
Sherward said the reward was part of her pledge to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal when she met him last year that she would help Sabah in its conservation activities.
She said she was saddened at how the bull elephants was shot after she was briefed by Sabah Wildlife Department's assistant director Dr Sen Nathan who had described the incident as the worst case of cruelty after he conducted the postmortem.
An autopsy on the elephant found over 70 bullet wounds on its body, leading wildlife officials to believe that at least 70 shots were fired before it had its two tusks removed.
Meanwhile, investigations are underway with the Federal Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry also stepping in with the police to assist Wildlife Department in tracking down the suspects.
In a statement Tuesday (Oct 1), the ministry described the killing of the 2.79m tall bull elephant as a cruel and inhumane act against wildlife.
Sabah's Borneo Pygmy elephants are endangered with only about 1,500 to 2,000 left roaming wild.
It remains under threat by not only poachers but also from human-elephant conflict with the opening of land for agriculture purposes in the east coast of Sabah.
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