Sabah rangers have a jumbo job at hand

Elephants roaming in Felda Sahabat Lahad Datu.

KOTA KINABALU: Several herds of elephants have been roaming in Felda settlers’ land in Lahad Datu for almost a week and wildlife rangers have yet to be able to lure them back into the Tabin Wildlife Reserve.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said rangers could not get the elephants out of the area due to the size of the herds numbering about 100 pygmy elephants.

This, he said, was also due to the distance from the plantation to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve – about 10km.

“When our rangers managed to get them moving from one area, they would enter the neighbouring estate. And the cycle goes on, ” he said when contacted.

There were three herds of elephants that had to be moved out, he said.

“But we are not able to do it manually (using cranes or machines) as there are just too many of them. And the cost to transport just one elephant is about RM30,000, ” he said.

Tuuga said if they were to get all the elephants out, the department would have to spend more than RM3mil.

He said the damage so far incurred by the estates had reached about RM700,000.

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

The elephants are believed to have entered the area in search of food.

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Borneo Pygmy elephant


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