Police report lodged after Borneo pygmy elephant's death ruled as poisoning

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 10 Dec 2019

KOTA KINABALU: An adult female Borneo pygmy elephant, which was found dead at an oil palm smallholding in Lahad Datu, is believed to have died of blood poisoning or toxaemia, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew (pic).

She said that the elephant’s death was similar to the death of collared-elephant "Girang", which also died of toxaemia on Nov 16 this year.

She said a police report had been lodged, and an investigation officer was appointed to probe into the case.

Liew said that she was informed by Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga that the animal, aged between 20 and 25, could have died on Dec 7 before it was found on Monday (Dec 9).

“The post-mortem showed that it had multiple organ congestion in the heart, lung, liver, spleen and kidneys coupled with myocardial infarction (blood clot in the heart) and intestinal lesions, ” Liew said on Tuesday (Dec 10).

Based on the post-mortem, she said the cause of the elephant's death is possible ingestion of toxic substance (food poisoning), and sample tissues had been sent to the Chemistry Department for analysis.

"There was no external wound or any bullet found on its body, although there was bleeding from the ears, nostrils and mouth," said Liew, who is state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister.

Liew said a team of rangers from the Lahad Datu Wildlife office was dispatched to the location after being alerted to the find.

She said that the implementation of the 10-year Sabah Elephant Management Action Plan (2020-2030) laid out clauses that will hold plantation workers and owners accountable for any elephants injured and killed on their land.

"In the meantime, we are banking on the General Operations Force (GOF) in Sabah, particularly the Tiger Platoon, to assist the Sabah Wildlife Department in combating wildlife poaching and poisoning," she added.

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