KOTA KINABALU: Poisoning is suspected to be the cause of death of an adult female Borneo pygmy elephant at a settlement on Sabah's east coast as conservationists continue to grapple with the deaths of the endangered animal.
Sources said that the elephant was likely to have consumed toxic substances before it was found dead in the area of Kampung Perpaduan Skim Bagahak at around 6.30am on Monday (Dec 9).
They were awaiting toxicology tests to ascertain the cause of death of the elephant, which was found by villagers, with the carcass being surrounded by a few elephants.
Lahad Datu Wildlife officer Sylvester Saimin said that they suspected poisoning as the cause of death of the elephant aged about 20 to 25.
The discovery comes a week after the just concluded 10th Asian Elephant Specialist group members meeting in Kota Kinabalu where experts discussed plans to help in the conservation of the elephants, numbering between 1,500 and 2,200 in Sabah.
In January, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew had said that an action plan would be put in place, including the creation of an "Elephant Food Corridor" in the lower Kinabatangan area.
Liew said that the state government would be calling related NGOs, plantation companies and the community involved on how to proceed with the food corridor, aimed at minimising human-elephant conflict as elephants have started seeking food outside forested areas.
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