Postmortem shows latest jumbo death due to organ failure, carcass tagged with satellite collar

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 17 Nov 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The carcass of the female pygmy elephant found at Kinabatangan on Saturday (Nov 16) had a satellite collar tagged with the ID "Girang", usually fixed by scientists for tracking.

Investigations found the mammal died due to organ failure, estimated sometime around Thursday (Nov 14), and no injuries and bullets wounds were found on the body.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga (pic) in sharing the preliminary findings, said they first received information from a plantation manager, after a worker discovered the carcass in a ditch along the plantation road at Melangking Oil Palm Plantations (MOPP) at 5.50am.

"The worker alerted the plantation manager and both of them went to inspect the carcass, which was already emitting a foul smell and several lizards were also seen feeding on it.

"The department upon being informed, went to the scene with the police and several researchers from Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) and non-governmental organisation Hutan," he said in a statement.

Postmortem results found the elephant with the identification 'Girang' suffering from severe heart congestion, friable and severe lung congestion, and enlarged and severe liver congestion, among others.

"The spleen was enlarged and had severe congestion and the kidneys were also friable and had congestion.

"Normal food content (oil palm frond, sweet potato) was found in the stomach.

"Both the small and large intestine had intestinal pneumatosis," Tuuga added.

The cause of death was suspected to be from acute poisoning which led to organ failure.

Police have recorded statements from witnesses and samples have also been sent to the Chemical Department for analysis.

"We will also try to retrieve data on the movement pattern of this elephant, as well as finding any information related to what happened," he added.

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