Malaysia: Elephant found shot dead in Perak with tusks and trunk removed

ivan loh The Star 13 Mar 18;

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.

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.



Cops take down jumbo hunters
ivan loh The Star 14 Mar 18;

GERIK: The police have arrested four men and seized firearms along with hunting equipment used in illegal hunts here.

This followed the discovery of a 30-year-old male elephant which was shot dead at Hutan Piah, about 15km from Jalan Gerik-Kuala Kangsar, here on Sunday.

Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order director Comm Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said a 40-man raiding team, including police and Department of Wildlife and Na­­tional Parks (Perhilitan) officers, arrested the four, aged between 40 and 49, at various locations.

“One of them led police to a house in Kampung Padang Jeri where they found two rifles, two homemade shotguns, 255 bullets, wire traps, machetes, chainsaw and other equipment used for hunting.

“Police also seized RM10,500, a deer horn and seven bone pieces believed to be from a tiger,” he told a press conference here.

Comm Zulkifli said those arrested included a 44-year-old contractor from Kuala Lumpur, who works with the Forest Research Institute Malaysia, a 40-year-old backhoe operator from Kota Baru, Kelantan, a 49-year-old latex seller from Lenggong and a rubber tapper, 40, from here.

“The latex seller has two criminal cases for extortion, he said.

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

Comm Zulkifli said one of the suspects had admitted to selling an elephant tusk to a middleman at the border of Rantau Panjang for RM12,000.

“The market value for a tusk is between RM200 and RM400 per 100g, based on demand.

“From the suspect’s account, he started hunting illegally since 2009,” he said, adding that the police believed that some 20 elephants have been killed by the suspects.

“A post-mortem conducted by Perhilitan at its forensics department in Cheras showed that the animal was shot twice in the head and once on its right buttock,” he added.

Comm Zulkifli appealed to the public and related non-governmental organisations for information with regards to illegal hunting activities.


FRIM DG: our people not involved with killing elephant in Gerik, Perak
ivan loh The Star 14 Mar 18;

IPOH: The Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) has denied that one of the suspects involved with the killing of a male elephant in Hutan Piah, Gerik, works for them.

A FRIM Corporate Communication Unit spokesman said its director-general Datuk Dr Abd Latif Mohmod took immediate action to verify the matter and confirmed that the person implicated was neither a contract staff nor a contractor engaged to provide services to them.

“We are outraged by the senseless killing and appalled at the thought that one of our staff may be involved in this case,” he said, adding that it was important for him to clarify the situation because the report may affect FRIM’s image and reputation.

"FRIM takes a serious view on any misconduct of its employees and gave its assurance to the public that anyone found to be involved in any illegal activities will face severe and immediate action," he added.

This was following the discovery on Sunday of a 30-year-old male elephant which had been shot dead in the forest, about 15km from the Gerik-Kuala Kangsar road.

Those arrested included a 44-year-old contractor from Kuala Lumpur, a 40-year-old backhoe operator from Kota Baru, Kelantan, a 49-year-old latex seller from Lenggong, Perak and a 40-year-old rubber tapper from Gerik.

Apart from money and equipment used for hunting, other items seized from the suspects included a deer horn and bone pieces, believed to be from a tiger.


Elephant poachers arrested in Malaysia
AFP 13 Mar 18;

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.

"This crew is notorious. They hunt elephants," wildlife department chief Abdul Kadir Abdul Hashim told AFP.

"There are maybe two more (poaching) groups (in the area). We are working together with the police on this."

A police statement said weapons including rifles and homemade shotguns as well as animal snares were found after they arrested the gang.

The elephant's tusks were not found, with a wildlife official believing that they were already sold.

He added that the gang -- all locals -- were believed to have been operating since 2009, and were also active in the nearby state of Kelantan.

The arrests come a year after a seven-man gang was arrested in Kelantan, with explosives, guns and parts of tusks seized.

Elizabeth John, senior communications officer of wildlife trade watchdog Traffic Southeast Asia, hoped to see more busts like these in the future.

"The seizure of high powered weapons clearly shows what wildlife and other authorities are up against," she said.

There are believed to be some 1,200 wild Asian elephants in peninsular Malaysia, down from as many as 1,700 in 2011.

Though endangered and protected by law, many of these pachyderms have been hunted for their ivory, which can fetch thousands of dollars on the black market.

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