Pygmy elephant calf killed in early morning road crash

KOTA KINABALU: A Borneo pygmy elephant calf was killed after it was knocked down by a car in Lahad Datu early yesterday morning.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin said he was notified 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 revealed that the driver did not see the elephant as it was dark at the time of the accident, which happened at KM20.9 Lahad Datu-Sandakan road.

He said the driver escaped unhurt in the 3am accident.

“This is Sabah’s first case of a road accident death involving an elephant,” Augustine said. He said the dead female calf was less than a year old and they had immediately buried it close to the scene of the accident.

Witnesses at the scene said the calf was with a herd of elephants crossing the road.

Following the accident, the herd was seen among trees beside the road before leaving the area.

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