Malaysia: Wildlife rangers act to stop rampaging herd of pygmy elephants

muguntan vanar The Star 20 Feb 18;

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife rangers have moved in to stop a herd of 20 endangered Bornean pygmy elephants from rampaging farm lands and a school in Sabah’s central Telupid district.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the elephants had entered the compound of SMK Telupid on Tuesday (Feb 20).

This was apart from disturbing farms lands and properties of villagers in Telupid, about 250km from here.

“Our target is to translocate at least three of the more aggressive ones,” he said when contacted.

However, due to cost factors, his rangers would try and push back the remaining elephants into the forest reserve.

“It cost us about RM30,000 to translocate one elephant. It will be too costly to translocate the whole herd,” Augustine said.

He said the operations to capture the more aggressive ones would be done within the week and they planned to translocate the jumbos to the Imbak forest reserve.

“It depends on how fast we can catch the few elephants that we want to relocate. Hopefully this can be done by the end of the week,” he said.

In some cases, translocations were carried out as part of efforts to conserve the elephants which are critically endangered in Sabah.


Herd of 20 elephants terrorising Telupid
muguntan vanar The Star 21 Feb 18;

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife rangers have moved in to stop a herd of 20 endangered Bornean pygmy elephants from rampaging farm land and a school in the central Telupid district.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the herd entered the compound of SMK Telupid yesterday morning.

He said the priority was to translocate at least three of the more aggressive elephants.

Due to the cost factor, he said rangers would try and guide the remaining elephants back into the forest reserve.

He said the operation to capture the more aggressive ones would be done within the week, adding that they planned to translocate the jumbos to the Imbak forest reserve.

“It depends on how fast we can catch the few elephants that we want to relocate. Hopefully by the end of the week,” he added.

Telupid residents have in the past complained about elephants encroaching onto their property.

Three 'aggressive' pygmy elephants to be captured and relocated
POLIANA RONNIE SIDOM New Straits Times 20 Feb 18;

TELUPID: The Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) will capture and relocate three Borneo pygmy elephants found roaming around villages here to reduce the likelihood of human-elephant conflicts.

SWD director Augustine Tuuga said once caught, the elephants would be relocated to the Imbak forest reserve located about 100km from here.

When contacted, Tuuga said the animals were dangerous and difficult to control.

“We have tracked down 20 elephants at six locations, and 18 of the mammals are moving in two herds while another two are moving individually.

“We will only relocate three aggressive elephants and we expect to conduct the operation this week,” he said.

Tuuga also said it was impossible to relocate all 20 elephants due to the high cost of the operation, which amounted to RM30,000 per elephant.

The six identified locations are Kampung Liningkung, Kampung Bauto, Kampung Gambaron, Kampung Telupid, Pekan Telupid, and SMK Telupid.

The elephants were spotted in the areas since last year and they are believed to be from the same group that trespassed into Deamakot forest reserve recently.

Meanwhile, Sandakan SWD officer Hussien Muin said the operator of Pan Borneo Highway project has agreed to help pay for the installation of a 6km-long electric fence at Kampung Gambaron and Bauto to keep the elephants at bay.

He said the department and non-governmental organisations were training youths from three villages, namely Kampung Liningkung, Bauto and Gambaron, to be appointed as honorary wildlife wardens.

These wildlife wardens, he said, are responsible for monitoring the electric fence once it is completed. He added that the RM330,000 fence is expected to be installed early next year.

The New Straits Times Press previously reported that a group of young people from Kampung Gambaron had constructed cannons using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to prevent elephants from destroying property and crops.

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