Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Lost baby elephant wanders into school

SUNGAI SIPUT: While children learn about the various wildlife in our jungles, students at Sekolah Rendah Kampung Lintang did not expect to see one up close and personal in their school compound.

Early this morning, residents at Kampung Lintang were shocked when a baby elephant, believed to have been separated from its herd was spotted roaming in a residential area and later ended up in the school compound.

Sungai Siput district police chief Supt Rozeni Ismail said they received the information at about 7.20am from a resident.

"Police went to the location and found that the baby elephant had left the area and made its way towards Lintang town.

Early this morning, residents at Kampung Lintang were shocked when a baby elephant, believed to have been separated from its herd was spotted roaming in a residential area and later ended up in the school compound. Pic by NSTP/courtesy of PERHILITAN

"The wild elephant then entered the Kampung Lintang community hall, passed in front of the Lintang police station and entered Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Lintang," he said when contacted today.

Residents chased the baby elephant away and it later ran towards Sungai Siput and entered a farm about one kilometre from Lintang town.

"Efforts to track down the elephant was done by the Peninsular Malaysia Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) and they found it at 10.20am at the farm," he said.

Meanwhile Perak Perhilitan deputy director Wan Shaharuddin Wan Nordin when contacted confirmed the incident and said the operation to capture the elephant involved eight officers.

He said the baby elephant was captured in good health and it did not sustain any injuries.

The department estimates the elephant to be about three years old based on the size of its paw and weight.

"The baby elephant is now placed temporarily at the Sungai Siput Perhilitan and we are waiting for a lorry from the National Wildlife Rescue Centre (NWRC) in Sungkai to send the elephant to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Pahang," he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://sg.news.yahoo.com/lost-baby-elephant-wanders-school-131315857.html

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Juvenile elephant shot dead in Tongod



TONGOD: An elephant was found dead with a gunshot wound at Kampung Karamuak here.

This brings the number of elephants killed in Sabah to 10 this year.

A team of wildlife rangers from Kinabatangan Wildlife Office stumbled upon the carcass of the juvenile male elephant by the roadside at Kampung Karamuak here about 7.40am on July 23.

Sabah Wildlife Department public relations officer Siti Nur’Ain Ampuan Acheh said the wildlife rangers were returning home from carrying out elephant controls at Kampung Karamuak.

“The juvenile male elephant is about three to four years old,” she said in a statement yesterday.

She added that a team was sent yesterday to investigate and conduct a post-mortem to determine the cause of death.

The post-mortem team found a wound at the right rump of the elephant, she said, adding a pellet was inside the abdomen.

“Some parts of the intestines were torn. There was a severe internal bleeding inside the abdomen suggesting several blood vessels were damaged.

“The cause of death is determined to be hypovolemic shock due to severe internal bleeding caused by the pellet,” Siti Nur’Ain explained.

“From the position of the injury and the trajectory of the pellet, it is highly probable that the elephant was shot either from a close range from an elevated place or from the back of a vehicle.”

Siti Nur’Ain said according to information gathered during investigation, a herd of elephants had been in Kampungg Karamuak for the last one month.

To read the full article, click on the story title.

Elephant bull captured in Ulu Muanad Beluran

KOTA KINABALU: An elephant bull has been captured and will be transferred out from Kg Ulu Muanad, Beluran, to a distant forest reserve.

According to Sabah Wildlife Department’s spokesperson, Siti Nur’ain Amp Acheh, the elephant bull was captured after two weeks of tracking its movement.

She said that there are still three elephants remaining in the area and that SWD hopes to capture and translocate them as soon as possible out of the area.

She explained that human-elephant conflict in Ulu Muanad has been an issue since November, 2015.

The damages caused by the elephants at the area were estimated to be nearly RM200,000 per annum.

The Sandakan Wildlife Office has been working closely with the community at Ulu Muanad, The Forest Trust (NGO) and IJM Plantation in Ulu Muanad since 18 November, 2015 to address the human-elephant conflict there.

The Forest Trust and IJM Plantation has formed a team comprising of youths from Kg Ulu Muanad to assist the department to mitigate the conflict.

Training and workshops have been conducted to prepare the team for the task.

The full cooperation from the team and the fund provided by the Forest Trust and IJM Plantation as well as the local community in Kg Ulu Muanad have helped eased the human-elephant conflict there and SWD is grateful for their support.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/07/20/elephant-bull-captured-in-ulu-muanad-beluran/

Bull elephant captured, waiting to be translocated to forest reserve

BELURAN: A bull elephant was successfully captured at Kampung Ulu Muanad here by wildlife rangers yesterday after two weeks of tracking, and is now waiting to be translocated to a forest reserve.

There were still three other elephants remaining in the area which Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) hoped to capture and translocate as soon as possible to reduce human-elephant conflict there, said SWD officer and spokesperson Siti Nurain Ampuan Acheh.

The Sandakan Wildlife Department office at present has been working closely with the community there, as well as non-governmental organisation (NGO) the Forest Trust and IJM Plantation management since November 2015, when the human-elephant conflict become an issue.

In a statement here, Siti Nurain said the conflict had resulted in damage of about RM200,000 a year.

“The Forest Trust and IJM Plantation then formed a team of youths from Kg Ulu Muanad to assist the Wildlife Department to mitigate the conflict.

“Training and workshop were conducted to prepare the team to assist in mitigating the conflict.

“The full cooperation of the whole team has eased the situation of human-elephant conflict in Ulu Muanad, and Sabah Wildlife Department wishes to thank those involved in the process and hoped for their continuous support,” she added.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/392673/bull-elephant-captured-waiting-be-translocated-forest-reserve

Juvenile pygmy elephant found dead with wounds all over body



KOTA KINABALU: A juvenile male pygmy elephant was found dead near an abandoned logging camp outside the Kuamut Forest Reserve in east coast Kinabatangan district.

The elephant, believed to be between five and eight years old, was found dead with wounds on its body by estate workers on Thursday (July 19).

Sabah Wildlife Department public relation officer Siti Nur’Ain Ampuan Acheh said a team of investigators were sent to the scene after receiving the report.

“The elephant was found with a severe crack on the left side of its skull, believed to have resulted from fighting with a larger elephant,” she said in a statement Sunday.

Meanwhile, Siti said the other parts of the elephants body and ivory were intact.

She also thanked the estate workers from Rakyat Berjaya Sdn Bhd who alerted them about the elephant.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/22/pygmy-elephant-found-dead/

Bee scent could repel elephants, prevent conflict with humans: study

UNITED STATES: Elephants never forget a bee sting. Their eyes and the sensitive, soft tissue inside their trunks are particularly vulnerable to painful stings, and experts believe African elephants(Loxodonta africana) have learned over the centuries to recognize the scents bees give off when they are scared and ready to swarm.

Now, researchers say this well-honed fear of bees could be used to help repel the majestic beasts in places where they risk conflicts with humans.

In a three-month field test at South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park, scientists hung white socks filled with bee pheromones, which are chemical clues that honeybees release from their bodies when they perceive a threat to their hive.

A total of 25 of 29 elephants that approached the “showed typical signs of increased alertness, signs of uncertainty, and finally calmly moved away,” said the report in the journal Current Biology.

To make sure it wasn’t simply the socks but the odour emanating from them, researchers hung similar socks that did not contain the pheromones, and found that elephants were curious about the socks, would pick them up and even taste them at times.

Since some farmers in Africa already place commercial bee hives along their fence lines to protect their crops from elephants, the results suggest there may be a cheaper way to ward off conflicts.

“Our results complement previous studies that have demonstrated that active bee hives can deter elephants from crops for example but may be difficult to implement on a large scale,” said lead author Mark Wright, a professor of entomology at the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

“We hope to expand this work to develop additional tools for sustainable passive management of elephant movements, to augment the current approaches used.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2018/07/24/bee-scent-could-repel-elephants-prevent-conflict-with-humans-study/

Sabah records third elephant death in eight days

SANDAKAN, July 24 — A third elephant has been found killed in Sabah within a span of eight days, and this time, the pachyderm was found shot dead at Kampung Karamuak, Tongod in Kinabatangan.

Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) Public Relations Officer Siti Nur’Ain Ampuan Acheh said a team of wildlife rangers from the Kinabatangan wildlife office stumbled upon the carcass at the road side at 7.40am yesterday while they were returning from elephant control work at Kampung Karamuak,

She said the male juvenile elephant was estimated to be between three to four years old and that a team was dispatched to the scene to investigate , including to carry out a post mortem to determine the cause of death.

A wound at the right rump of the elephant was found and this was then traced to the discovery of a pellet inside the abdomen, said Siti Nur’Ain in a statement today.

She said some parts of the intestines were torn and that there was severe internal bleeding inside the abdomen, suggesting several blood vessels were damaged.

She said the cause of death was determined to be hypovolemic shock due to severe internal bleeding caused by the pellet.

“From the position of the injury and the trajectory of the pellet, it is highly probable that the elephant was shot from close range from an elevated place or from the back of a vehicle,” she added.

Siti Nur’Ain said according to information gathered, a herd of elephants had been seen in Kampung Karamuak for the past one month.

She said the department would continue to probe the case and find those involved in the killing.

On July 19, a male elephant was found dead near an abandoned logging camp in Kuamut Forest Reserve in Kinabatangan, believed to be due to a fight with a larger elephant, leading to a severe crack on the left skull.

Prior to that, a male elephant with a badly wounded foot was found dead on July 16 in an oil palm plantation at Ulu Segama in Lahad Datu, believed to be the victim of a snare trap.

Elephants in Sabah are a Totally Protected species under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997. — Bernama

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1655545/sabah-records-third-elephant-death-in-eight-days

Elephant from herd in conflict with Sabahy/n villagers for past three years captured

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife officers have captured a bull Borneo pygmy elephant, part of a herd that has been in conflict with villagers in east coast Beluran district for about three years.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Augustine Tuuga said its officers and some villagers had been tracking the movements of the elephants at Kg Ulu Muanad for two weeks and finally managed to capture one on Thursday (July 19).

He said that they would be moving the animal far away from Ulu Maunad, but did not disclosed where.

Tuuga said that they were still tracking three more elephants, and hoped to capture and translocate them as soon as possible.

He said the Sandakan Wildlife Office worked closely with the Ulu Muanad community, NGO The Forest Trust as well as IJM plantation and formed a team of village youth to handle to situation.

Wildlife conservationists are growing concern over a sudden spike in deaths of elephants with some 16 found dead since April this year.

The cause of the animals' deaths have yet to be ascertained as post-mortem examinations on the carcasses provided no conclusive evidence for wildlife rangers investigating the cases.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/20/sabah-wildlife-officers-capture-elephant/

Endangered pygmy elephant shot dead on Borneo



A pygmy elephant was shot dead on Borneo island after it destroyed villagers' crops, a Malaysian wildlife official said Thursday, the latest of the endangered creatures to be killed.

The male elephant, believed to be about four years old, was found Monday by the side of a road in the state of Sabah, on the Malaysian part of Borneo, local wildlife department director Augustine Tuuga told AFP.

"(The elephant) was killed out of revenge for destroying crops," he said, adding the crops included palm oil trees.

He said the creature's tusks remained intact, indicating the elephant was not killed by poachers seeking to sell its ivory on the black market.

It was the latest case in Malaysia of human-animal conflict, which happens when human settlements or agricultural plantations expand into a species's natural habitat.

Malaysia is home to vast tracts of rainforest and a kaleidoscope of exotic wildlife, from elephants to orangutans and tigers, but the numbers of many rare species have fallen dramatically in recent decades.

As well as human-animal conflict, many endangered animals are hunted for their body parts which fetch a high price for use in traditional medicine in China, and elsewhere in Asia.

At least 18 pygmy elephants have been killed in Malaysian Borneo since April, The Star newspaper reported. Causes of death included elephants being targeted by poachers and poisoning.

Pygmy elephants are baby-faced with large ears, plump bellies and long tails that sometimes drag on the ground, according to environmental group WWF.

Rainforest-clad Borneo is the world's third-largest island and is shared between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:

https://www.richmond-news.com/news/asia-pacific-news/endangered-pygmy-elephant-shot-dead-on-borneo-1.23380451

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Baby elephant rescued from Tawau palm oil plantation

KOTA KINABALU, July 11 — Wildlife authorities have rescued an elephant calf, among the youngest they have come across, in a human-elephant conflict area in Tawau.

The young male jumbo, estimated to be less than a year old, was wandering alone at about 3pm yesterday when it was found by plantation workers in the Brumas oil palm area, who alerted their managers and called the authorities to rescue the animal.

Witnesses said that the animal was weak and seemed tired, but it was not aggressive when a team from the Sabah Wildlife Department came to take it away.

The elephant calf is currently under the care of wildlife rangers at the department’s Tawau base.

“The elephant found is very small and young, probably a few months and definitely less than a year. It will need a lot of attention and care if it is to survive,” said the source.

It has yet to be decided where the elephant calf will be kept, as it cannot be returned to the wild with an unfamiliar herd.

An elephant calf found alone is usually not a good sign for the species, indicating that its herd is either dead or faced some conflict that caused the calf to end up alone.

The Brumas area where the calf was found has experienced elephant encounters before, including an attack by a rogue bull elephant two years ago.

Oil palm plantations in the area also regularly report the presence of elephants despite a wildlife corridor that sometimes pose a danger to the crops and occasionally, the residents.

The east coast and interior of Sabah has seen an increase of human-wildlife conflict due to the rapid pace of development and land clearing.

In between 2013 and 2016, 15 orphaned baby elephants were found on their own in Tawau, Lahad Datu, Telupid, Kinabatangan and Sandakan — areas known as a hotbed of human-elephant conflicts. 

The Sabah Wildlife Department is currently under scrutiny following reports of an ill-managed Lok Kawi Wildlife Park where rehabilitated animals are kept, including 16 elephants.

The recent death of two of its captive elephants — a 15-year-old and a three-year-old calf — raised concerns about the department’s capability of looking after Sabah’s endangered animals.

Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Christina Liew said there was no conclusive cause of death except that the animals were sick and “not expected to live long”.

Sabah’s endemic elephant population has been dwindling. There are an estimated 1,500 Borneo Pygmy elephants left in the wild.

This year alone, 16 deaths were reported to authorities, with six of those in the last two months.

Liew said that post-mortem reports showed that they had died of an unknown disease, with no discernible external wounds.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1650963/baby-elephant-rescued-from-tawau-palm-oil-plantation

Disease killed 6 pygmy elephants in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The six pygmy elephants found dead between April and May this year died due to disease, said Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew.

Liew, who is also the state tourism, culture and environment minister, said a post-mortem conducted on the carcasses of the elephants did not find any sign of foul play as suspected before.

“There were no gunshot wounds on the elephants and it was concluded they died because of disease,” she said in her winding-up speech at the state assembly today.

However, Liew did not say what kind of disease killed the endangered pygmy elephants.

Earlier, Liew announced her ministry would establish a wildlife protection council to be a platform where wildlife experts could engage with each other to ensure better protection of wildlife and to manage human-wildlife conflicts.

The council, she said, will advise the government on inter-department and inter-agency issues which affect the conservation of wildlife.

These issues include wildlife habitat enrichment in forest reserves, habitat restoration outside protected areas and establishment of wildlife corridors outside protected areas.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/07/05/disease-killed-6-pygmy-elephants-in-sabah/

Snare trap kills second elephant in a week in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Snare traps set in plantations in Lahad Datu took the life of another elephant – making it two deaths in less than a week in the Sabah east coast district.

Sabah Wildlife Department spokesperson Siti Nur Ain Ampuan Acheh said the district wildlife office was alerted by an oil palm plantation worker about 5pm yesterday about the dead male elephant.

“It was found in the Low Woo Thien oil palm plantation area in Ulu Segama, Lahad Datu.

“A team of rangers was immediately dispatched to the location to collect information on the elephant,” she said.

The team found a deep injury on one of the elephant’s feet, believed to have been inflicted by a snare trap, she said.

The elephant was nearly 2m tall and aged between four and five years.

Nur Ain said the cause of death was septicaemia resulting from the severe leg injury. The wound had caused the bone to become exposed.

Last Thursday, an injured elephant, rescued earlier from Sapagaya, Lahad Datu, on June 1, was found dead at the Bornean Elephant Sanctuary.

Sapa, an adult male, was rescued by wildlife officers after it was found with injuries, also believed to be from a snare trap.

Sapa had appeared to be on the way to recovery, with its injury almost healed, after being treated by the wildlife rescue unit’s veterinary officer.

However, the elephant was found lifeless on July 11 despite showing no symptoms of illness the previous day.


Please credit and share this article with others using this link:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/07/17/snare-trap-kills-second-elephant-in-a-week-in-sabah/

Rescued baby elephant now under care in Sepilok

KOTA KINABALU, July 12 — The baby elephant found last Tuesday in a plantation in Brumas, Tawau, is currently in Sepilok, an orangutan wildlife reserve and is being treated for some minor wounds on its body.

Sabah Wildlife Department spokesperson Siti Nurain Ampuan Acheh said that the elephant calf, approximately two to three weeks old and weighing 95.5kg was immediately given milk formula fluids intravenously upon being found and transported to Tawau.

It was later transported to Sepilok once more, arriving there around 5:30am today, where it will receive attention from the resident veterinarian.

“A full medical checkup performed found that the baby elephant to be bright, alert and receptive to drinking milk. He still looks slightly dehydrated so it was given oral electrolytes.

“Some small wounds were found in different parts of the body and are now being treated,” she said in a statement here.

The baby elephant was found in weak condition but aware of its surroundings.

An elephant calf found alone is usually not a good sign for the species, indicating that its herd is either dead or faced some conflict that caused the calf to end up alone.

It was reported that the wildlife rangers had tried to locate the baby’s herd in the surrounding areas but failed to do so.

The Brumas area where the calf was found has seen elephant encounters in recent years, including an attack by a rogue bull elephant two years ago.

Oil palm plantations in the area also regularly report the presence of elephants that sometimes pose a danger to the crops and occasionally, the residents.

The east coast and interior of Sabah has seen an increase of human-wildlife conflict due to the rapid pace of development and land clearing.

Between 2013 and 2016, 15 orphaned baby elephants were found on their own in Tawau, Lahad Datu, Telupid, Kinabatangan and Sandakan — areas known to be a hotbed for human-elephant conflicts.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1651644/rescued-baby-elephant-now-under-care-in-sepilok

Jumbo deaths raise welfare alarm

KOTA KINABALU: Drastic steps are expected to be taken at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park where two endangered Borneo pygmy elephants died within two months.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew will be at the wildlife park today on a fact-finding visit in which she is expected to make some tough decisions on the management and upkeep of the park, sources said.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga confirmed a report in The Star Online that two elephants died there on May 7 and June 27.

An adolescent male elephant rescued 13 years ago from Lahad Datu’s Yapid plantation died on June 27 while a four-year-old calf died on May 7.

Wildlife officials had kept a lid on the deaths amid calls by activists for improvements at the wildlife park that acts as a rescue and rehabilitation centre for the animals.

Sources said that wildlife veterinarians were puzzled over the deaths of the two elephants.

So far, post-mortem reports have not given any clue about the cause of the deaths.

It is understood that the calf, which was born in captivity, had been sick.

The deaths in captivity, sources said, was worrying.

Earlier this month, Friends of Orang Utan director Upreshpal Singh raised concerns about the upkeep of animals at the Lok Kawi Zoo but the Sabah Wildlife Department dismissed allegations that the animals were kept under poor conditions.

Tuuga said this was the second time that such an accusation had surfaced, adding that the animals were “well looked after”.

Liew made a surprise visit two weeks ago following the complaints.

However, she said then that all was good at the park.

At least seven elephants in the wild have also died of unknown causes in April and May in various parts of Sabah’s east coast.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/06/30/jumbo-deaths-raise-welfare-alarm-sabah-govt-to-make-tough-decisions-on-park-management-to-ensure-saf/

Friday, July 20, 2018

Elephant that died wasn’t expected to live past 5 years, says park


KOTA KINABALU: The 15-year-old male juvenile elephant that died in captivity at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park three days ago was not expected to live past five years when it was first rescued in 2003.

According to the park’s resident doctor Dr Symphorosa Sipangkui, the elephant which they named Yapid was only three months old when he was first rescued in Sandakan.

“He was handicapped, having difficulty in swallowing food. We did not expect him to live beyond five years. But he did, thanks to the care of the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and the veterinarians at the park,” she said when met at the park here today.

Symphorosa said Yapid was initially given medication including steroids to help him cope with his disability. However, this was stopped as the vets were worried that the medication could have negative effects on his kidneys.

Nevertheless, she said, Yapid lived far beyond the estimation of the park’s vets.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew said when she heard about Yapid’s story, she realised that not many knew about the goings-on and success stories of the park.

On the contrary, she said, only bad news would emerge and would go viral on social media without users verifying the accuracy of the reports.

“As a result, every time we heard of bad PR coming out of the park, we had to rush here for fact-finding missions. For this reason, I have decided that the park will appoint a public relations officer to engage the public on the status of the park.


To read the full article, click on the story title.




Deaths of two elephants at Lok Kawi wildlife park unfortunate



KOTA KINABALU: Authorities today revealed that while one of the elephants that died at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park has been sick for years, the baby elephant meanwhile may have contracted a new disease that was not linked with Borneo pygmy elephants previously.

Sabah Wildlife Department yesterday confirmed the deaths of the elephants which occured during two separate occasions which occurred a few days ago and in May.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew who was briefed and visited the Wildlife Park - located 45 minutes from the city centre - this morning, said Yapid, a 15-year-old male elephant, was found dead on Tuesday morning (June 26).

He was a ‘disabled’ elephant with stunted growth which was due to his swallowing problem which he had since he was rescued back in 2003, when he was just three months old.

This meant that everytime he ate, he would ‘vomit’ out some of his meal, thus resulting in his stunted growth and he also suffered from chronic gastric problem.

“Samples were taken for analysis to check for anything that might have further contributed to his death. But it was a miracle that he has survived that long,” said Liew, as she was informed veterinarians expected Yapid’s lifespan not to go beyond five years.


To read the full article, click on the story title.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Wildlife deaths going on for years



SAHABAT Alam Malaysia (SAM) is shocked to learn of the deaths of six pygmy elephants, aged between 1 and 37, between April 6 and May 20. These deaths have been happening for years.

Elephants are not an exception because the killing of turtles and sharks made headlines in the previous year. This is reflective of the poor protection measures by the authorities.

That the slaughter is happening frequently can only mean that those entrusted with the task of protection are not doing enough.

Those responsible for the killings have not been charged, and the cause of death of the pygmy elephants and others has yet to be established.

Most killings end with unresolved investigations.

The deaths of these elephants have put a negative spotlight on Sabah.

Sadly, Malaysia is sacrificing its pygmy elephants, of which there are fewer than 2,000 in Borneo.

Every year, elephants are found either shot dead or poisoned in Sabah, though the public often hears nothing about it.

It is clear that the authorities have not done enough to prevent the death of pygmy elephants or to hold those responsible for the deaths.

Although an action plan has been developed for the conservation of the Bornean elephants, implementation has been seriously wanting.

But there is a glimmer of hope now that the government has changed hands.

SAM is delighted to learn of the actions of Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal in taking action to stop the deaths of Sabah’s wildlife.

To save our pygmy elephants — the world’s smallest known pachyderms — the forest of Sabah must be restored.

At the very least, wildlife corridors must be created to allow elephants to move from one fragmented patch of forest to another, preventing them from becoming trapped in a forest island.

Other measures include creating more national parks.

SAM calls on the government and the wildlife authorities to prevent more deaths of Sabah’s wildlife.


Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2018/06/378376/wildlife-deaths-going-years

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sabah to review logging concessions after elephant deaths



KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Government will review logging concessions in “critical” areas where dead pygmy elephants have been discovered recently.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the state government will review the current concessions, including those under Forest Management Units, as they might be related to the deaths.

“We have to assess concessions in water catchment areas where there is wildlife. If the concessions are in accordance with the law, then they will be continued,” he said, adding that concessionaires practising “unhealthy" habits will be penalised.

Shafie said he will be meeting Forestry Department officials next week to discuss the matter further.


He said other problems highlighted to him included illegal logging in gazetted forest reserves.

“Although timber is a form of revenue for the state government, it is important for us to examine the problem in depth.

“We do not want this source of revenue to cause environmental problems in Sabah,” said Shafie after the state Cabinet meeting.

The carcasses of six endangered Bornean pygmy elephants in the east coast of Sabah aged between one and 37 years were discovered separately from April 6 to May 20.

The deaths have raised concerns over the well-being of the elephants, which number around 2,000 in the wild.

On the temporary ban of logs exported outside the state, Mohd Shafie said the logs could only be sold for the domestic market to meet demand such as from furniture factories.

“The development of the local logging industry will also provide more job opportunities to Sabahans.

“I am confident that with this move, we will be able to develop the industry,” he said, adding the ban would not affect the state’s income.

At a separate function, Shafie said a unit to monitor key performance index (KPI) in each ministry in the state would be set up.

Shafie said an annual report would be made on the KPI evaluation of every ministry.


Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
 https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/05/30/review-of-logging-concessions-state-govt-will-focus-on-critical-areas-where-carcasses-of-elephants-w/



Wildlife Dept chases 25 elephants back into jungle



LAHAD DATU, June 2 — The Lahad Datu District Wildlife Department is conducting an operation to drive 25 elephants to their original habitat in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve area after they were seen wandering around Kg Teburi and Kampung Sri Darun near here.

Its officer, Silvester Saimin, said 16 personnel were involved in the operation which was carried out during the day while they stood guard at night, after receiving complaints from the villagers, since May 21.

“We scare off the elephants by making a lot of noise,” he said when contacted here, today.

Silvester said a check at both villages found that the wild elephants had damaged the villagers’ crops, but did not disturb the residents.

The 25 elephants from the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, which bordered the villages, had encroached into the Bagahak 1 plantation but intruded into the human settlements after they were disturbed by activities to fell old oil palm trees in the plantation for replanting, he added. — Bernama


Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1637717/wildlife-dept-chases-25-elephants-back-into-jungle

Stop sacrificing our pygmies for palm oil



Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is shocked to learn of the death of six more pygmy elephants, deaths which have been happening ad nauseam for several years now.

Elephants are not an exception because the carnage to turtles and sharks has been making headlines in the previous year, which is reflective of poor government protection. That the slaughter is happening frequently can only mean that those entrusted with the task of protection are not doing enough.

So far those responsible for these kills have not been charged, and the cause of death of the pygmies and others have yet to be established. Most killings end with unresolved investigations.

Knowing how critically endangered the pygmy elephants are, the stakes for this species’ survival are too high for incidents of this sort to happen again. The same can be said for the many other animal species which are currently fighting to survive in Sabah which is plagued by palm oil production.

While the palm oil industry’s crippling blow to the orangutan species is monumental, the industry has the blood of other species on their hands as well.

The news of the deaths of these elephants has put a huge negative spotlight on Sabah. Sadly Malaysia is sacrificing its elephants for palm oil.

Recognising the high demand and huge profits that are associated with palm oil, the industry has stopped at nothing to produce as much of this commodity as possible. With the expansion of deforestation and the proliferation of palm oil plantations, elephants are finding it difficult to find food and thus are forced to feed on the fruits of the palm oil plant.


To read the full article, click on the story title.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ordeal over for chained elephant



GERIK: A wild elephant that was caught near the Titiwangsa Rest and Relax (R&R) area and chained by the side of the Timur Barat Highway has been relocated by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) today.

After having been chained for seven days much to the dismay of social media users, Perhilitan's operation to relocate the elephant was aided by the National Elephant Conservation Centre, the police as well as the People's Volunteer Corps (Rela).

It is understood that the elephant had been spotted roaming near the R&R before it was captured and chained.

Perak Perhilitan deputy director Wan Shaharuddin Wan Nordin said the operation began at 9am with the help of two other elephants, Rambai and Abot, which were brought in by the conservation centre.

Police helped to cordon off the area and close the roads in order to ensure public safety, Wan Shaharuddin said.

The elephant, estimated to be about 20 years old, was moved by a lorry to its natural habitat.

Meanwhile, Gerik district police chied Supt Ismail Che Isa when contacted said his men from Bersia police station were sent to help with the relocation process.

"I understand the elephant was moved to the Sungai Deka forest in Terengganu," he said, informing that the operation was a success and the elephant was not harmed in the process.

Pictures and video of the elephant chained by the highway has since gone viral with many expressing their anger over the animal's limited movement due to the chains.



Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/05/369027/ordeal-over-chained-elephant





6 pygmy elephants found dead in Sabah in recent weeks



KUALA LUMPUR: Six Borneo pygmy elephants have been found dead in oil palm plantations in Sabah in recent weeks, officials said Monday, the latest of the endangered creatures to perish as their rainforest habitat is devastated.

The carcasses of the elephants, aged between one and 37, were discovered at different locations in Sabah, local Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga told AFP.

“We are currently conducting tests on their internal organs,” he said, adding the carcasses did not have any signs of gunshot wounds.


Tuuga said the elephants could have accidentally consumed fertiliser in the palm oil plantations, which could have poisoned them.

The Star newspaper, citing conservationists, said the creatures might have drunk from poisoned watering holes.

There are about 2,000 pygmy elephants, the smallest type of elephants in Asia, in the wild. Late last year, three were killed by poachers.

In 2013, 14 pygmy elephants were found dead in Sabah and were thought to have been poisoned.

They are threatened by widespread logging of their natural habitat to make way for lucrative oil palm plantations, and are targeted by poachers as their ivory fetches a high price on the black market.

The pygmy elephants are baby-faced with oversized ears, plump bellies and tails so long they sometimes drag on the ground as they walk.


Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/05/21/6-pygmy-elephants-found-dead-in-sabah-in-recent-weeks/

Elephant killed in early morning crash with trailer



KOTA TINGGI: An adult female elephant died after the startled animal charged a trailer at Batu 13 along the Jalan Mersing-Kota Tinggi road here.

Johor Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) director Jamalun Nasir Ibrahim said the incident occurred near the Panti forest reserve at around 2am on Monday morning (May 21).

He said initial investigations found that the incident happened when the driver of another car turned on the high beam of his headlights when he saw a herd of elephants crossing the road.

“This startled one of the elephants and it was hit by a trailer which was travelling from Terengganu to Singapore. The elephant died at the scene and was less than ten years old,” said Jamalun.



He advised any road users not to provoke animals by honking or turning on their high beam to avoid startling the animal and provoking it to attack.

Kota Tinggi OCPD Supt Ashmon Bajah confirmed that the incident took place and said the driver did not suffer any injuries.


Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/05/21/elephant-killed-in-early-morning-crash-with-trailer/

Landowners in Sabah should be held liable if elephants die on their land proposes WWF Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/05/23/landowners-in-sabah-should-be-held-liable-if-elephants-die-on-their-land-proposes-wwf/#miAmxIgLgoVYiEbE.99



KOTA KINABALU: Landowners should be held accountable if an elephant dies on their land.

This is one proposal by WWF-Malaysia, in response to the alarming finding of six carcasses of Borneo elephants in eastern Sabah within six weeks.

The conservation NGO underlined that this proposal was actually first brought up by Sabah's Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, when an amendment to the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 was suggested.

This provision will reverse the burden of proof, which would no longer lie with the prosecutors.

“Industries and landowners need to be held more accountable for the death of elephants on their land. With more accountability, we believe that the industry players will be more inclined to take necessary measures to prevent elephant deaths as well as to conserve this iconic species,” stressed WWF-Malaysia Executive Director / CEO, Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma.


To read the full article, click on the story title 



Sabah to engage consultant to study how best to handle human-elephant conflict



KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew announced several short and long term measures to address the elephant situation and deaths in the state.

During the first meeting with the Ministry’s Head of Departments and perm…


To read the full article, click on the story title


No gunshot wounds found on dead elephant



KOTA KINABALU: The cause of death of an elephant found floating in the Kinabatangan River last weekened is not yet known.

However, following an autopsy that was done yesterday, Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said no gunshot wounds were found on the elephant, believed to be about three years old.

"A post-mortem was completed at 2pm (yesterday). But no wounds were found on its body and the elephant did not die from gunshot, infact no bullets were found in the elephant's body.

"We are still unable to ascertain the cause of death for now and we have taken samples of its internal organs for further analysis," he said when contacted.

When asked if the elephant could have been poisoned, Augustine said they would have to wait for results from the analysis.

Last week, a photo of the dead elephant, believed to have been found at a river near the Danau Girang Research Centre in Kinabatangan, along with two voicenotes went viral on WhatsApp.

Sabah Wildlife Department then confirmed they received a report on the discovery and sent in a team which included a veterinarian to the scene.


Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/05/371556/no-gunshot-wounds-found-dead-elephant

State Govt reward for info on jumbo killers



Kota Kinabalu: The State Government will offer a reward to those with information that can lead to the arrest of those who kill pygmy elephants.

Newly-appointed State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew said on Tuesday that the policy will be reactivated to deal with the cause of the killing of the species down at its roots.

She said the killing of pygmy elephants in Sabah is "getting worse", expressing sadness that one of the elephants killed was only about a year old.

"The Ministry will also reactivate the giving of rewards to witnesses. Anybody in the plantations who see elephants being killed and is willing to come forward as a witness will be rewarded," she told a press conference after attending a briefing session with ministry officials on its functions. It was her first day in office.

Liew said the reward policy is one of the measures the Ministry will take to bring elephant killers to justice.

The short term measures she said are to increase the number of field rangers in plantations and to engage with a consultant to advice the State Government on how best to deal with the human-elephant conflict.

She said the ministry has identified an expert but has yet to engage the person.

She also said that the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal had called her regarding the deaths of the six pygmy elephants. Shafie was reportedly puzzled why the elephant killing still occurred despite many claims of solutions from the previous government.

He was quoted as saying that the previous government perhaps did not have the political will to push through more drastic actions that would affect logging companies and plantations.

He demanded no more lip service but insisted on seeing short and long-term conservation plans to be implemented on a fast track basis.

He also promised that the Warisan government will facilitate the efforts and will not bow dowm to pressure from any groups.

The latest incident was reported following the discovery of an elephant carcass, believed to be a baby elephant, floating in Sungai Kinabatangan last Saturday. - Leonard Alaza


Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=124785

Call to set up elephant-friendly zone to resolve human-elephant conflict in Sabah



TELUPID: Establishing an elephant-friendly zone with easy access for Bornean pygmy elephants to look for food can help tackle the problem of these animals intruding into settlements. …Maybe (we) need to establish an elephant-friendly zone here where there is easy access (for the wildlife) to get food such as bananas and grass, among others,” he said. Establishing an elephant-friendly zone with easy access for Bornean pygmy elephants to look for food can help tackle the problem of these animals intruding into settlements. Forever Sabah project coordinator Claudia Lasimbang also shared a similar view about setting up an elephant-friendly zone, adding such projects were aimed at identifying suitable locations for wild elephants to roam. “The creation of an elephant zone will encourage the rehabilitation of selected areas with food sources and elephant safety as priority,” she said.


Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
http://www.newssummedup.com/summary/Call-to-set-up-elephant-friendly-zone-to-resolve-human-elephant-conflict-in-Sabah-ncud8e

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Elephant in rest area along highway terrifies travellers



KUALA LUMPUR: Travellers who stopped at the R&R near Puncak Titiwangsa, Gerik, were terrified when an elephant appeared at the rest and relax area before destroying fences in the compound.

Wildlife and National Park Department (Perhilitan) director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said his officers in Gerik received information about the elephant from the police.

“Five Perhilitan officers rushed to the R&R along East - West Highway upon receiving the information. When the team arrived, the elephant had, however, re-entered the nearby forest.

“No unwanted incident happened, and the elephant only destroyed the fences at the R&R,” he said when contacted today.

According to the photos taken by the R&R workers, it was a male elephant with a foot size around 38.1cm.

Photo of the 3m tall elephant appearing and destroying fences at the R&R has gone viral on the social media.

Kadir added that following the incident, Perhilitan would monitor the area as a preventive measure to avoid untoward incidents.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/04/362426/elephant-rest-area-along-highway-terrifies-travellers

Friday, March 30, 2018

Borneo’s elephants prefer degraded forests, a new study finds



Conservation-minded planners often pick places with the fewest signs of human impact for protection, and, across the tropics, pristine rainforests with the tallest trees often rise to the top of the list.

But safeguarding specific so-called “degraded” areas as conservation targets is also important, especially when they constitute the best habitat for threatened species. A new study supports that conclusion: It confirmed that Bornean elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis), considered by some scientists to be a subspecies of the endangered Asian elephant, actually prefer disturbed forests with shorter trees to denser primary forests.

“There are obviously many benefits of protecting primary forests,” said Luke Evans, an ecologist with the Danau Girang Field Centre in Malaysia and the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California, and lead author of the paper. “We’re just saying that, for elephants, it’s not particularly useful.”

 To read the full article, click on the story title

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Malaysia signs Chinese firm for environmental protection initiative in major rail project



PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia's Department of Wildlife and National Parks under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), on Tuesday signed a memorandum of agreement with China Communications Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC), the main contractor for the 688-kilometer East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), to tackle possible environmental issues caused by the project.

According to the agreement, the CCCC will work together with NRE experts to take crucial measures to ensure the rail project complies with environmental requirements.

The CCCC would build wildlife underpasses at 29 strategic locations to allow wildlife to move freely despite the railway line passing through, said Bai Yinzhan, executive managing director of a CCCC subsidiary in Malaysia in a press release. He added that numerous elevated viaducts, with a possible length of 128 kilometers in total, will also be built so that wildlife can roam as they normally would and be protected.

Moreover, the CCCC will earmark 9.15 million ringgit (2.34 million U.S. dollars) to help NRE undertake wildlife relocation and related programs, according to the press release.

Touted by the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as a game changer for the Malaysian economy, ECRL will link Port Klang in the west coast of peninsular Malaysia with the east coast. But some environmental concerns were raised as the rail alignment traverse a large swathe of forest reserve, in which tigers, elephants and jungle cats live.

When attending the signing ceremony, NRE minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar defended the government's efforts for wildlife and environment protection, saying a Wildlife Management Plan (WMP) was also launched along with the rail project. He said the plan would minimize and monitor the impact on wildlife and their habitats along key stretches of the ECRL.

Construction for the ECRL began in last August and is expected to be fully delivered and operational by 2024.

 Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-02/27/c_137003306.htm

Sabah now looking at long-term elephant conflict solution



The six-week elephant invasion in one of Sabah’s interior districts has compelled state authorities to look into long-term solutions that can prevent such human-wildlife conflicts in the future.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the conflict has become a major cause of concern that has to be addressed in the long term.

“I have asked the director of wildlife to give a briefing this week. We recognise the fact that it’s a real problem and we are going to discuss the options available to us,” he said.

A herd of about 20 elephants caused damage to crops and human property in some 10 villages around the Telupid district, while others have reportedly casually strolled through school grounds and wandered into the district police station.

The Sabah Wildlife Department and Wildlife Rescue Unit have been on a 24-hour watch trying to ensure that the animals do not come into close contact with humans.

Wildlife Rescue Unit acting manager Diana Ramirez said that they have so far captured six elephants as of now that are meant for relocation in a wildlife reserve.

“I think the fact that all these incidents that happened in the last one week or month should make us think hard about the options that are available to us, not only to solve it now, but for the long term,” said Masidi.

“All of us the stakeholders need to sit down and work out the solutions. We can’t forever be doing things on an ad hoc basis,” he said, adding that the authorities will meet later this week to discuss the matter before bringing in the stakeholders.

Another challenge is the high cost of translocation at RM20,000 to RM30,000 per elephant.

Elephant and human conflict has been on the rise in recent years as Sabah’s vast forests have been converted into agricultural land or opened up to development.

Biologists predicted the increase in such conflict but little has been done to create wildlife corridors for elephants and other animals which are used to roaming freely over large areas without restriction.

 Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/sabah-now-looking-at-long-term-elephant-conflict-solution

Baby elephant causes Telupid traffic jam



TELUPID: Drivers were curious for the odd traffic jam near town here at around 10am today, which they later found was caused by a ‘cute’ obstacle.

A baby elephant was seen wandering on its own on the road, blocking cars on both lanes from passing through.

Wildlife Department Director Augustine Tuuga said that Wildlife Rescue Unit personnel from the department were informed and went to the location to drive the elephant away from the road.

The baby elephant was successfully reunited with its mother in the afternoon.

 Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
 http://www.malaysiapost.biz/2018/03/09/baby-elephant-causes-telupid-traffic-jam/

Elephant found shot dead in Perak with tusks and trunk removed



GERIK: A 30-year-old male elephant was found shot to death at Hutan Piah here, with its trunk and tusks removed.

Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order director Comm Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said the animal is believed to have been killed a week ago.

"The dead animal was found some 15km from the main road of Jalan Gerik-Kuala Kangsar," he said.

Comm Zulkifli said that the animal was shot three times, twice in its head and once more in its rear.

"A bullet was found lodged in the right buttock of the animal," he said during a press conference at the Gerik police station here on Tuesday (March 13).

He said upon receiving a tip off, a team comprising the police, General Operation Forces and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, arrested four men aged between 40 and 49 at various locations on Sunday (Mar 11).

"One of them led the police to a house in Kampung Padang Jeri here where they found two rifles, two homemade shotguns, RM10,500 in cash, 255 bullets, wire traps, machetes, chainsaw and various hunting equipment.

"We also seized a deer horn and seven bone fragments, believed to be from a tiger," he said.

"All four suspects will be remanded until March 18 to be investigated for possessing illegal firearms, unlicensed weapons or ammunitions and for carrying weapons in public," he added.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/03/13/elephant-shot-dead-in-perak-with-tusks-and-trunk-removed/

Thirty-Year-Old Elephant Found Shot Dead In Malaysia



Malaysian police are investigating after a 30-year-old elephant was found dead. Having been shot twice in the head and once in its rear, the bull's trunk and tusks had also been removed.

According to Malaysian news outlet the Star Online, Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order director, Commander Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said the elephant is thought to have been killed a week ago.

"The dead animal was found some 15km from the main road of Jalan Gerik-Kuala Kangsar," he said.

After receiving a tip-off, a team including police, General Operation Forces (the light infantry arm of the Royal Malaysia Police) and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks arrested four men aged between 40 and 49 at various locations on Sunday.

"One of them led the police to a house in Kampung Padang Jeri where they found two rifles, two homemade shotguns, RM10,500 (£1,900 / $2,700) in cash, 255 bullets, wire traps, machetes, chainsaw and various hunting equipment," said Zulkifli.

"We also seized a deer horn and seven bone fragments, believed to be from a tiger. All four suspects will be remanded until March 18 to be investigated for possessing illegal firearms, unlicensed weapons or ammunitions and for carrying weapons in public."

 To read the full article, click on the story title

Elephant poachers arrested in Malaysia



Four heavily armed poachers who targeted wild elephants in Malaysia have been caught, officials said Tuesday, the second such arrest in less than two years.

Wildlife officials said the gang caught near the town of Gerik in the northern Malaysian state of Perak was found with deer antlers and suspected tiger bones.

A joint police and wildlife department investigation also led the agents to find an elephant shot dead by the poachers in a nearby forest with its tusks ripped out.

 To read the full article, click on the story title

A Gang of Ivory Poachers is Nabbed in Gerik


Operation Gading in Gerik took three days and required 40 officers, but success did beckon at the end of it. Under arrest are four professional hunters who may have killed as many as 20 wild elephants for their tusks in Malaysia over the past decade.

The joint team from the Royal Malaysian Police and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) nabbed the four local men, aged between 40 and 50, during a well-coordinated operation. The officials discovered the men were in possession of several high-powered firearms, 255 bullets, 13 snares and various animal remains like deer antlers and tiger bones.

“Among items seized were RM10,500 in cash believed to be from the sales of elephant ivory; four firearms including a .458 rifle, two homemade shotguns and a Colt M15 as well as five homemade gun barrels,” Zulkifli Abdullah, director of the Internal Security and Public Order Department, was quoted as saying by the Bernama news agency.

“This is a notorious gang of poachers that the Wildlife Department has been tracking since 2009. We believe the tusks from the elephant have been sold by the group to foreign buyers,” Zulkifli added. “We hope this serves as a lesson to other groups to stop this kind of illegal activity and we will continue to work with Perhilitan to enforce the law.”

The four suspects are facing several charges for illegally possessing firearms while they are also being investigated for breaking the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 by possessing snares and wildlife parts.

“Forests in northern Peninsular Malaysia are often a target of poachers because they are rich in iconic endangered species including tiger, elephant and bear,” the anti-wildlife trade watchdog TRAFFIC explains. “On 10th February 2017, a gang of seven men who were part of an elephant poaching gang were arrested with explosives, guns and parts of tusks in the state of Kelantan, which is also located in northern Peninsular Malaysia. Follow-up raids uncovered two elephant tusks, dried elephant meat and other wildlife parts.”

Over the past years several wild elephants are known to have been killed, either gunned down or poisoned, around Malaysia. In several cases the carcasses of the pachyderms were discovered without their tusks, indicating that poachers had been targeting the animals for their ivory. In fact, members of the team that caught the four poachers also found the remains of a male Asian Elephant in nearby Piah Forest. The elephant had died from gunshot wounds to the head and had its tusks sawn off.


Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://cleanmalaysia.com/2018/03/20/gang-ivory-poachers-nabbed-gerik/

Friday, March 16, 2018

Animal activists: Bad idea to relocate wild elephant that attacked lorry driver

Animal activists are not keen on the idea of tracking down and relocating a wild elephant that attacked a lorry driver last week as suggested by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
Former Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) president Prof Maketab Mohamed said relocating the elephant will not solve any problems.
“This idea is absurd. How will relocating the elephant solve any problem? On top of that, how about other elephants in the area? Does the ministry plan to relocate all of them?” he asked. 
Speaking to Malay Mail, Maketab said the authorities should instead investigate why the elephant attacked the lorry driver.
“There is a possibility that the victim had tried to take photos of the mammal and the flash from the mobile phone could have triggered the attack,” he said.
On Feb 2, a 69-year-old lorry driver suffered broken bones and serious injuries to his neck after he was attacked by a wild elephant near Gerik.
M. Paramanazan, from Sungai Siput Utara, was stomped by the elephant along KM19 of the East-West Highway at 4.30pm after he stopped his lorry to look at the wild beast.
After the incident, Wan Junaidi was reported as saying that the ministry would track down and relocate the elephant in question.
He said the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) would move the elephant to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary (National Elephant Conservation Centre).
Maketab said before making major decision, the ministry should advise motorists travelling along the Gerik to Jeli Highway to not provoke the animals if they ever come across it.
“Even honking at the elephants, can be a dangerous move as the noise might irritate them,” he said.
Sahabat Alam Malaysia field officer Meor Razak Meor Abdul Rahman said it would be an uphill task for Perhilitan to track down the elephant as its roaming grounds covered Temenggor to Royal Belum.
 “Even if you find the herd, how would you determine which elephant actually trampled the lorry driver?” he asked.
 Agreeing with Maketab that the cause of the attack should be determined first, Meor Razak said the elephant would not have attacked the victim without being provoked first.
He also suggested that Perhilitan provide more information to motorists instead of just putting up animal crossing signboards.
“Presently, the signboards only warn motorists of passing elephants in the area. There should be a do’s and dont’s if one encounters a herd of elephants,” he added.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/animal-activists-bad-idea-to-relocate-wild-elephant-that-attacked-lorry-dri#L8yk8cWGI4M8wq0g.97


Man seriously injured after being trampled by elephant on Malaysian highway

GERIK, Perak: A man was seriously injured after he was trampled by an elephant on Malaysia's Gerik-Jeli East-West Highway between Perak and Kelantan, at about 4.30pm on Thursday (Feb 1). Gerik police chief Superintendent Ismail Che Isa said the victim, Mr M Paramanazan, 69, fractured his left arm ...

 Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://sghunter.com/2018/02/02/man-seriously-injured-after-being-trampled-by-elephant-on-malaysian-highway/

Malaysian elephant roams into Yala, kills rubber tapper

A rubber tapper in Yala, age 75, was killed early Tuesday by a wild elephant that had ventured across the border from Malaysia.

Chaiwat In-on, assistant chief of Bannang Sata, was alerted at 7.30am of the death of Sao Somyos, a resident of Moo 5 village in Tambon Tham Thalu.

The man’s severely damaged body was lying near his hut on the rubber plantation, surrounded by elephant footprints.

Sansern Thep-osoth, chief of Bang Lang National Park, said the animal was a wild elephant that had crossed through the border forest from Malaysia.
Sansern said park officials had already driven it back once, but it was lured by crops on the Thai side.

A wild elephant killed another villager in Yala’s Betong district several months ago, he noted.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30338729

Julia's epic bike ride to help free elephant Lasah raises £3,192

THE campaign to free a 37-year-old Malaysian elephant has been boosted thanks to a Windermere woman cycling non-stop for 12 hours.

Cyclist Julia Savory and her supporters have so far raised £3,192 to raise awareness of the international bid to get captive Lasah into a sanctuary - far exceeding her £2,000 target.

The wild-born creature appeared in a 1999 Hollywood movie called Anna and the King which starred Jodie Foster as an English governess to the King of Siam’s children. Lasah is now used to give elephant rides in Malaysia.


Animal lover Julia embarked on her static-bike marathon to help raise the profile of efforts to free Lasah more than 6,5000 miles away in tropical Malaysia, South East Asia.

She began pedalling at the National Trust's straw-bale Footprint building, near Windermere, at 7am on Saturday, February 3, feeling "nervous but glad to get on with it".

Julia told the Gazette how grateful she was to other riders who joined her, saying: "They brought energy with them that gave my legs a boost. Gill and Malcolm Mead, from Ambleside, arrived first and cycled from 11am to 1pm. Then Joan Mccadden, from Kendal Cycle Club, arrived at noon for her two-hour ride."

Well-wishers arrived throughout the afternoon, and at 3pm Julia said she "hit the wall". Feeling weary, she could not eat and it was all she could do to keep going. She added: "Luckily at 4pm Tim Price, from Kendal Cycle Club, arrived to do his three-hour stint. Thank goodness! His pace was good and although I couldn’t match it, it was a good boost."

At 7pm when Julia finally stopped she said she felt "exhausted, elated and humbled", and there was "no way" she could not have completed the ride without such support.

"I have since been contacted by people from around the world who wish to help elephant Lasah," said Julia, who is now to write a detailed plan to make sure the money is spent wisely.

She also hopes to visit schools to teach children how best to interact with elephants. "The UK is one of the world’s largest markets for elephant riding so it’s important to get the message out there in a fun and non-distressing way," she told the Gazette. "Just to make sure that elephants like Lasah, that are taken from the wild and broken, become a thing of the past."

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/15997858.Julia__39_s_epic_bike_ride_to_help_free_elephant_Lasah_raises___3_192/



Saturday, January 27, 2018

Injured elephant captured in Sabah oil palm plantation dies

Sabah Wildlife Director Augustine Tuuga said the elephant, estimated to be six or seven years of age, had shown signs of injury when it was captured by the Wildlife Department’s Rescue Unit.

He said the elephant was reported to have been aggressive towards plantation workers and villagers in surrounding areas, which led to its capture on Nov 24 at Desa Plantation, and was then taken to Borneo Elephant Sanctuary.

“While undergoing medical examination and treatment, its tongue was found to have serious wound, believed to have been caused by a gunshot.

“The wound on the tongue made the elephant unable to eat or drink,” he said in a statement here tonight.

Tuuga said a post mortem conducted on the elephant found a bullet lodged in the injured front left leg and there were also gunshot marks on the body, but did not penetrate or caused any internal organ injury.

“Dehydration is believed to be the cause of death because the elephant was unable to drink due to the injury on its tongue,” he said.

Tuuga said the Sabah Wildlife Department would be investigating the case as it involved the death of a totally protected species.

“While the Sabah Wildlife Department fully understand the problem faced by the people associated with elephant in their environment, we would really appreciate cooperation from all concerned by contacting the department’s nearest office for assistance to mitigate disturbance and property loss,” he said. — Bernama

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://malaysiaupdates.com/2017/12/08/injured-elephant-captured-in-sabah-oil-palm-plantation-dies-malaysia/

Another Pygmy Elephant dies from Gunshot Wounds in Sabah

Bornean pygmy elephants are facing existential threats in Sabah and so the death of any more wild elephants in the state is bad news. Yet just over the past few months several wild elephants have been shot dead by poachers or irate plantation workers.

Now another wild elephant is dead. The bull elephant, which was around six years old, had been shot and ended up succumbing to his injuries before staff at the Borneo Wildlife Sanctuary in Kinabatangan, where he was taken for treatment, could save him.

“During the examination, a bullet slug was found lodged in its injured front left leg,” explained Augustine Tuuga, director of the Sabah Wildlife Department. “There were also sign of gunshots on the body but they did not penetrate or cause any internal organ injury.”

The pachyderm also suffered an injury to his tongue, likely from a gunshot. “While undergoing medical examination and treatment, its tongue was found to have serious wound, believed to have been caused by a gunshot,” the director said. “The wound on the tongue made the elephant unable to eat or drink.”

The department’s rescue unit captured the elephant on November 24 at a plantation in Ladang Pertama after he had been reported to be acting aggressively towards locals in the area. He was showing signs of an injury on his left front leg. After tracking the wild elephant for some time, officials managed to capture him and took him to the wildlife sanctuary for treatment. But by then it was too late for the animal.

It remains unknown who shot the elephant, but the likelihood is that it was an irate plantation worker. “We will investigate the case further as it involves the death of a totally protected species,” Tuuga said. The elephant’s death is especially egregious as it comes shortly after another bull elephant was found dead with three gunshot wounds at a large plantation in Tawau, where another male elephant was also killed last month, bringing the tally of dead elephants, all shot dead, to three within the space of just a few weeks.

And so it goes: plantations have robbed wild elephants in the area of their natural habitats, severely reducing their roaming grounds. As a result, many of them can’t help but wander onto plantations, where they then encounter locals who look askance at the pachyderms feeding on crops. Some of these locals take matters into their own hands and shot the animals.

“When elephants come into conflict with people it is a battle in which the gentle animals are destined to lose,” observes SM Mohd Idris, president of the conservationist group Sahabat Alam Malaysia. “Those responsible for land clearance are highly aware of the increased risks of elephants coming into conflict with people and the subsequent fatalities that may arise,” he adds. “Many plantation owners and farmers now see elephants as enemies, yet it is humans, not the pachyderms, who are responsible for this situation.”

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://cleanmalaysia.com/2017/12/12/another-pygmy-elephant-dies-gunshot-wounds-sabah/

200kg Malaysia-bound ivory intercepted at RGM Airport

At least 200 kilogrammes of ivory worth over half a million dollars was intercepted at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on Monday, while destined for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZimParks) confirmed the interception yesterday and said it is on high alert. The owner of the ivory, which was boxed, was still not known by yesterday. The interception of the loot followed a joint operation by parks and security agencies at the international airport.

ZimParks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo confirmed the development in an interview with The Herald yesterday. Investigations to track down the criminals behind the attempted smuggling of the ivory were underway. The Herald is reliably informed that the net is fast closing on the suspects.

“The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority officers at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, working with other security agencies, on Monday intercepted 200kg of ivory destined for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,” said Mr Farawo.

“Efforts to get the owner are underway.” Mr Farawo said the case had since been handed over to the Zimbabwe Republic Police. “The matter has been handed over to the ZRP Border Control and Minerals Unit,” he said. “As parks, we are on high alert. We will not allow such illegal activities to happen and this is in line with President Mnangagwa’s policy of zero tolerance on corruption.

“We are excited that we are moving in line with the Head of State and Government. I can assure you, we will get to the bottom of this matter, as the net is closing in on the culprits.” The country has 84 000 elephants, which it considers too many, but is unable to sell ivory due to CITES restrictions. Poaching has seen a good number of elephants being killed through shooting or poisoning using cyanide.

A total of 893 jumbos were poached between 2013 and 2016. Out of this number, 249 elephants were killed through poisoning using cyanide or shooting.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.herald.co.zw/200kg-malaysia-bound-ivory-intercepted-at-rgm-airport/

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Sabah moots ‘killer instinct’ wildlife rangers to fight poachers

An elite team of 50 wildlife rangers equipped with firearms may be the answer to Sabah’s escalating poaching problem.

Sabah Forestry Department director Datuk Sam Mannan said today that authorities have mooted the idea of a specialised team of rangers who would be trained to look solely into wildlife protection aspects including data and intelligence collection and surveillance, criminal analysing and prosecution.

“They will be armed, and work on shifts. They won’t do anything but 24-hour surveillance. We will give them guns — we have about 95 guns — Glocks, Scorpion and Italian shotguns. It’s not necessarily to shoot people, more for warnings, but if thing get heated, they have to be able to protect themselves,” he said during his speech at the Borneo Banteng international workshop and conference here.

Mannan said the idea is still at the proposal stage, but added that the elite rangers would be under the Wildlife Enforcement Unit if accepted. He also said they are looking for funding.

“We will recruit people who have experience in this field.

“There will be a specially trained unit that have killer instincts. We are dealing with crooks and we have to play dirty too. No mercy-mercy business,” he said, adding that there would still have to work out a standard operating procedure for firing shots.

Danau Girang Field Centre director Benoit Goossens who was also present said such action was needed in light of the escalating threat againsts Sabah’s declining wildlife.

“We have to take such action because it is getting serious. There are people hawking exotic meat at five-star resorts, things like pangolin scales.

“This year alone we have had seven cases of poached elephants. In West Malaysia, the animals are being poached for their hide. It’s not here yet but we have to be ready and show them we mean business,” he said.

Goossens said that there was willingness by the state authorities to carry out this proposal and hoped that the idea would be able to increase the likelihood of catching poachers and bringing them to justice.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/sabah-moots-killer-instinct-wildlife-rangers-to-fight-poachers#gZsZblx65SB6GkgO.97

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Yet another endangered Borneo pygmy jumbo found dead in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Another critically endangered Borneo pygmy elephant has been found dead even as conservationists call for informants and professional investigators to be engaged to stop the killing.

The elephant, the ninth slain in the last 14 months, was a healthy 12-year-old bull named Liningkung, that was fitted with a satellite collar 18 months ago.

It was found in the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve on Sabah’s east coast on Tuesday.

Rangers discovered its decomposed carcass with the tusks untouched.


Liningkung’s movements were being monitored by DGFC on a weekly basis, Goossens said, and they alerted Sabah Forestry officials on Dec 11 to say that it had not moved since Dec 3.

A team is in the area to carry out a post-mortem.

“It is another sad day for elephant conservation. If this goes on, we might be staring at its extinction,” Goossens said.

There are only about 1,500 elephants left in Sabah’s forests.

This is the third elephant found dead in the same area in the past year.

Goossens said it is vital for a special wildlife enforcement unit to be set up to go after wildlife poachers and traders as suggested by chief conservator of forests Datuk Sam Mannan.

Meanwhile, Marc Acrenaz, scientific director for Sabah-based wildlife research and conservation NGO Hutan, said informers and professional investigators are needed to stop the killing.

“Many years ago, locals killed these animals for food and it was not too serious.

“Now, we see that things have changed and people are poaching for the international trade or killing them because of animal-human conflicts,” he said.

No suspects have been identified in many of these cases, including a recent incident where a bull elephant was shot in the mouth and died of dehydration because it could not eat or drink.

“The authorities lack people on the ground,” Acrenaz said.

“We need a strong team which can identify the culprits and bring them to justice,” he said, adding that the killings might stop then.

For now, Acrenaz said, there are not enough rangers to cover all the places where animals – especially endangered species like the pygmy elephants, orang utan and pangolins – roam.

He said the three main reasons for poaching and killing were conflicts between landowners and animals (especially elephants), poaching of bush meat because of demand by tourists, and the international underground trade in exotic meat and animal parts like ivory and pangolin scales.


Please credit and share this article with others using this link: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/12/14/yet-another-endangered-borneo-pygmy-jumbo-found-dead-in-sabah/

ZimParks intercepts 200kg of Malaysia-bound ivory

THE Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) on Monday intercepted a consignment of 200 kilogrammes of ivory worth over $1 million destined for Malaysia at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport amid reports that the contraband belonged to a top Zanu PF politician.

ZimParks spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo confirmed the development yesterday, saying the alleged loot was recovered with the help of other State security agencies.

“We recovered 200kg of ivory valued at more than $500 000 on the official market,” he said.

“The net is closing in on the owners because we have identified the travel agency that was facilitating the transportation of the consignment.”

According to sources at the airport, the consignment comprised of four boxes with carved ivory.

This was the first time efforts to smuggle ivory of such huge volume had been made. Previous attempts to nab the ivory smugglers had hit a brickwall after it was discovered the syndicates were linked to top officials.

In the latest incident, there was speculation that the consignment belonged to top officials.

Farawo said ZimParks would not hesitate to exercise its mandate following a directive by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to stamp out corrupt activities. Trade in ivory has been outlawed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to prevent extinction of elephants and rhinos. This has resulted in ivory finding its way to the informal market, particularly to Asian countries, where it is commonly used as an aphrodisiac.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:https://www.newsday.co.zw/2017/12/zimparks-intercepts-200kg-malaysia-bound-ivory/

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sabah moots ‘killer instinct’ wildlife rangers to fight poachers

An elite team of 50 wildlife rangers equipped with firearms may be the answer to Sabah’s escalating poaching problem.

Sabah Forestry Department director Datuk Sam Mannan said today that authorities have mooted the idea of a specialised team of rangers who would be trained to look solely into wildlife protection aspects including data and intelligence collection and surveillance, criminal analysing and prosecution.

“They will be armed, and work on shifts. They won’t do anything but 24-hour surveillance. We will give them guns — we have about 95 guns — Glocks, Scorpion and Italian shotguns. It’s not necessarily to shoot people, more for warnings, but if thing get heated, they have to be able to protect themselves,” he said during his speech at the Borneo Banteng international workshop and conference here.

Mannan said the idea is still at the proposal stage, but added that the elite rangers would be under the Wildlife Enforcement Unit if accepted. He also said they are looking for funding.

“We will recruit people who have experience in this field.

“There will be a specially trained unit that have killer instincts. We are dealing with crooks and we have to play dirty too. No mercy-mercy business,” he said, adding that there would still have to work out a standard operating procedure for firing shots.

Danau Girang Field Centre director Benoit Goossens who was also present said such action was needed in light of the escalating threat againsts Sabah’s declining wildlife.

“We have to take such action because it is getting serious. There are people hawking exotic meat at five-star resorts, things like pangolin scales.

“This year alone we have had seven cases of poached elephants. In West Malaysia, the animals are being poached for their hide. It’s not here yet but we have to be ready and show them we mean business,” he said.

Goossens said that there was willingness by the state authorities to carry out this proposal and hoped that the idea would be able to increase the likelihood of catching poachers and bringing them to justice.

 Please credit and share this article with others using this link: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/sabah-moots-killer-instinct-wildlife-rangers-to-fight-poachers#HiJMCmT5ggFAk2gq.99

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Kuala Lumpur Airport hosts roadshow to raise awareness of wildlife trafficking by air

This message was delivered through the Anti Human & Wildlife Trafficking Roadshow, organized by Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) which includes the country’s flagship airline Malaysia Airlines Berhad. The roadshow was held with the support of Malaysia Airports Berhad, which manages KLIA. TRAFFIC was among exhibitors at the three-day event.

The roadshow was marked by the Group’s announcement that it had taken on a zero-tolerance policy against wildlife trafficking and would continue to reinforce its role by helping to shut down illegal wildlife trafficking by air.

Passengers pose by Manis, TRAFFIC's pangolin mascot, at the roadshow after learning about how to remain vigilant for suspected wildlife trafficking.

The airline, a signatory to the Buckingham Declaration, has so far engaged 4000 staff on wildlife trafficking issues. It also engages passengers and travellers on the topic through anti-wildlife trafficking messages on all countertop check-in posters and awareness videos on their in-flight entertainment systems.

Next month, the airline will host TRAFFIC for a half-day training event for all airport stakeholders under the USAID-Funded Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership.

The event was launched by Malaysia’s Deputy Home Affairs Minister Dato Masir Kujat and in attendance was United States Ambassador to Malaysia, Her Excellency Madam Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir who spoke in support of the cause.

During the event, TRAFFIC staff and volunteers engaged with travellers through exhibits which focused on encouraging travellers to holiday responsibly by not purchasing souvenirs made of wildlife parts, avoiding the consumption of exotic meat as well as reporting any suspected illegal wildlife activity. Awareness videos by TRAFFIC were also displayed on TV screens at the airport during the period.

This is TRAFFIC’s third exhibition on wildlife trade issues with Malaysia Airlines Berhad. It has also periodically participated in the Airline’s programme to engage its staff on the role of transport and logistics providers in fighting wildlife crime.

The Kuala Lumpur International Airport has come under the spotlight in recent years for its role as a transit hub in the smuggling of wildlife parts from Africa to Asia. Over the past year, Customs officials at the airport have seized significant amounts of African ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales and freshwater tortoises, largely from cargo.

In August, the Royal Malaysian Customs made their eighth seizure of African pangolin scales and elephant ivory at the KLIA, bringing their total haul for the year to a staggering 1.7 tonnes of pangolin scales and 958 kg of ivory.

“Wildlife traffickers are exploiting the increasingly fast and efficient transport networks around the world, including in Malaysia, and airlines and airports need to put in place or improve systems and protocols that will stop such abuse and help disrupt criminal networks,” said Kanitha Krishnasamy, Acting Regional Director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia.

“It’s great to see interest from the airports and the airlines in Malaysia. We hope to see them maintain the momentum not just to raise awareness on illegal wildlife trade, but also effect changes in their systems that will support enforcement efforts against wildlife traffickers.”

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.traffic.org/home/2017/11/23/kuala-lumpur-airport-hosts-roadshow-to-raise-awareness-of-wi.html