Investigators wait on post-mortem for cause of latest elephant death


  • Nation
  • Monday, 04 Nov 2019

A file picture of two pygmy elephants crossing a road in Taliwas forest, Sabah. - AP

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife investigators suspect there's foul play in the latest elephant death in Kinabatangan.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said they did not rule out the possibility the Bornean Pygmy elephant was killed and an investigation was now underway.

We are waiting for the post-mortem to be carried out, he said when contacted on Monday (Nov 4).

A carcass of an elephant was found floating down from the upper reaches of the Kinabatangan river, around Kg Batu Puteh, early Sunday (Nov3)

Wildlife rangers are working to pull the body of the carcass from the river so a post-mortem can be carried out.

On Sunday, Augustine said it would be difficult to determine the location where the elephant had died as its body was in the river when it was spotted.

“It was from upstream, so it is a bit difficult to find where the carcass originated from," he said following the discovery of the carcass by community-based eco-tourism cooperative members (KOPEL) in Batu Puteh.

This would be the third death in five weeks, with the first incident involving the merciless killing of a bull elephant at a plantation in Tawau's Kalabakan area late September.

Six suspects have been arrested and are expected to face charges under the Firearms Act for possession of illegal firearms as well as charges for killing a critically endangered elephant removing its tusks.

A second elephant was found dead at a plantation at Beluran in October.

So far, wildlife experts have not been able to determine its cause of death though they suspect that it might have been a victim of poachers or poisoning.

Two holes were found on the decomposing elephant but there was no bullet fragment in its body, while its tusks were found later near the body.

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Sabah , Elephant killing , Wildlife , Poaching

   

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