Malaysia: Elephant calf takes casual stroll down Sabah road, surprising motorists

POLIANA RONNIE SIDOM New Straits Times 10 Mar 18;

TELUPID: Motorists along Jalan Telupid-Tongod here yesterday were pleasantly surprised to see an elephant calf wandering along the middle of the road.

It is believed that the baby elephant was somehow separated from its herd near the forested area between Kampung Gambaron and the Tawai forest reserve at 10am.

Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) director Augustine Tuuga said the calf was lost for about two hours, before being rescued by SWD staff who were present in the area to monitor wildlife.

The team eventually reunited the young elephant with its group nearby, Augustine said when contacted today.

Pictures and a video of the calf aimlessly strolling along the road have emerged on social media.

The video shows some motorists slowing down their cars while near the calf, as it playfully nudged several passing vehicles.

It was previously reported that at least 20 elephants from two herds have been regularly trespassing various human-inhabited areas here since early this year, including Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Telupid and the local police station.

As of two days ago, the SWD has translocated seven elephants from the area to the Deramakot and Imbak forest reserves.

On elephants still roaming near human settlements, Augustine said that the SWD field team will assess whether or not more of the pachyderms need to be captured and translocated.

“The (elephants) still seem to be trying to enter the villages, but have been stopped by our staff members in the area.

“The group of elephants is in and around the Tawai forest reserve at the moment,” he added.

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