Elephants still roam settlers' land despite a week's effort to lure them out

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 20 May 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Efforts by wildlife rangers to lure herds of pygmy elephants out from the Felda settlers' land in Lahad Datu have not been successful.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the rangers were finding the task difficult despite a week of effort due to the size of the herds.

He said there were about 100 elephants roaming the area and they were supposed to be lured into the Tabin Wildlife Reserve.

"There are too many of them and the distance between the area and Tabin is about 10km.

"When our rangers manage to get them moving from one location, they will enter the neighbouring estate and the cycle goes on.

"What we can do now is to try to push them away from estates with younger trees and away from houses and people, ” he said when contacted Wednesday (May 20).

Tuuga said there were three herds that have to be moved out from the settlers' land.

He added that the elephants were believed to have been roaming the area since May 14 in search for food.

“We are not able to do it manually (using cranes or machines) as there are just too many of them and it cost RM30,000 to transport just one elephant.

"If we are to get all the hundred-plus elephants out that way, the department would have to spend more than RM3mil," he said.

Tuuga added that the estates have so far incurred about RM700,000 in losses.

“We are working closely with the settlers to chase these elephants out of the area, ” he said.

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