Selangor Journal

Catch elephant poachers immediately

LAHAD DATU, JAN 2: The Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) team and the Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) were deeply saddened by the incidents where two male elephants were killed by poachers near Sungai Segama, Kawag Forest Reserve.
The first male elephant was found dead on December 27, 2016 in the middle of a farm, bordering Kawag Forest Reserve.
The second male elephant found dead was a tusker named Sabre which was saved from a farm near Tawau and relocated to the Tawag Forest Reserve three months ago, after he was fitted with a satellite collar by DGFC and WRU.
“We found Sabre’s remains on New Year eve with the satellite collar at the side of its head,” said DGFC Director Benoit Goossens in a statement last Sunday.
He said, Sabre was saved from a farm near Tawau in early October last year, and was fitted with a satellite collar before being released into the forest reserve near Danum.
“Within a month, Sabre and another adult male elephant were hunted by poachers for their tusks. The remains of both elephants were found 1,500 from each other although they were not killed at the same time,” he said as reported by BERNAMA.
Goosens said, according to satellite data, Sabre was killed on November 21, 2016.
“We are prepared to provide all information needed to the investigators and police. I believe that these elephants were killed by a sole hunter and professional trader.
“On the day China banned ivory trade, two of our elephants were killed for its tusks. Moreover, they are already facing threats such as habitat extinction from developments such as road/bridge construction in Sukau-Kinabatangan.
Meanwhile, a WRU veterinary doctor, Dr Pakeeyaraj Nagalingam who joined the rescue mission for Sabre and its relocation, said there were no words to describe their sadness.
He said, it looks like there are no more safe area for elephants in Sabah.
“The authorities responsible to enforce the ban on illegal wildlife hunting and other illegal activities need to work harder and smarter to save our wildlife in Sabah,” said Nagalingam.

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