KOTA KINABALU: A calf Borneo pygmy elephant was killed after it was knocked down by a car in Lahad Datu during the wee hours of Saturday (Nov 26).
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin said that he was informed by Wildlife Department officials that the death was due to a road accident.
"It is very sad," he said when contacted.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said that the driver claimed that he did not see the elephant crossing as it was dark at the time of the accident at Mile 13 Lahad Datu-Sandakan road.
He said the driver luckily escaped unhurt after the 3am accident.
"This is Sabah's first case of a road kill involving elephants," Augustine said.
He said the dead female calf elephant was less than a year old and they had immediately buried it close to the scene of the accident.
Witnesses at the scene claimed that the calf was with a herd of elephants crossing the road.
Following the accident, the herd was seen among the trees beside the road before it left.