Malaysia: Two Borneo pygmy elephants die at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

muguntan vanar The Star 29 Jun 18;

KOTA KINABALU: Two endangered Borneo pygmy elephants including a calf is believed to have died at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.

It is learned that an adolescent elephant rescued 13 years ago from the Lahad Datu's Yapid plantation died two days ago (June 27) while a four-year-old calf is believed to have died on May 7.

However, Wildlife Department officials remained tight-lipped over the deaths amid recent calls by animal activists for improvements at the wildlife park which serves as a rescue and rehabilitation centre for wildlife.

Sources said that wildlife veterinarians are puzzled over the cause of the deaths of the two elephants in captivity as post-mortem reports have not shown any indication for the cause of the deaths.

The incident of deaths in captivity was worrying and needs to be addressed immediately, said the sources, adding that wildlife officials appear to be silent on the matter.

In early June, Friends of Orang Utan director Upreshpal Singh raised concerns about the upkeep of animals at the Lok Kawi Zoo but Sabah Wildlife Department dismissed the allegations that animals at the park are being kept under poor conditions.

Its director Augustine Tuuga said this was the second time that such an accusation had surfaced, and added that the animals were "well-looked after".

Newly minted Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew in a surprise visit to the zoo following the complaints also said that all was good at the park.

At least seven elephants in the wild have also died due to unknown causes in April and May this year in various areas in the east coast of Sabah.

The deaths in the wild also prompted Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to call on wildlife officials to investigate thoroughly the cause as well as take serious steps in stopping the deaths of the critically endangered elephants.


Jumbo deaths raise welfare alarm
muguntan vanar The Star 30 Jun 18;

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.

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.


Drastic measures expected to prevents animal deaths at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park
muguntan vanar The Star 29 Jun 18;

KOTA KINABALU: Drastic steps are expected to be taken to improve the conditions at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park where two critically endangered Borneo Pygmy elephants died in less than two months.

Newly minted Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew will be making a second visit to the wildlife park here, which declared that “all was well”.

This comes after she made a surprise visit to the park about two weeks ago.

Sources said Liew is expected to visit the wildlife park with officers on a fact-finding visit early Saturday (June 30) where she is expected to make some tough decisions on the management and upkeep of the park.

Liew’s decision to go to the wildlife park was following the report and briefing.

It was reported that an adolescent male elephant rescued 13-years ago from the Lahad Datu’s Yapid plantation died on June 27, while a four-year-old old calf died on May 7 at the wildlife park.

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

Sources said that wildlife veterinarians are puzzled over the deaths of the two elephants in captivity as so far, post-mortem reports have not shown any indication for the cause of deaths.

It is understood that the calf, which was born in captivity, was ailing for a while before it died.

The deaths in captivity, sources said, were worrying and needs to be addressed immediately.

The sources said that there seems to be an official silence on the matter and hoped that efforts will be done to resolve problems at the wildlife park.

In early June, Friends of Orang Utan director Upreshpal Singh raised concerns about the upkeep of animals at Lok Kawi but the Sabah Wildlife Department dismissed allegations that animals at the park are being kept under poor conditions.

While Liew made a surprise visit two weeks ago to the zoo following the complaints, she had said that all was good at the park.

At least seven elephants in the wild died due to unknown causes over April and May this year in various areas in the east coast of Sabah.

This has prompted Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to call on wildlife officials to investigate thoroughly the cause as well as take serious steps to stop the deaths of the critically endangered elephants.


Sabah Wildlife Department confirms death of 2 pygmy elephants
Kristy Inus New Straits Times 29 Jun 18;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Wildlife Department has confirmed that two Borneo pygmy elephants have died while under the care of Lok Kawi Wildlife Park recently.

Commenting to an online report carried by a local English daily today, its director Augustine Tuuga admitted of losing the pachyderms but did not elaborate more on the details surrounding their demise.

“Ya true, I need consent from the Ministry (state Culture, Tourism and Environment) before I can release the details,” he said in a written text reply.

The Star Online reported today that a young elephant died on June 27 and a four-year-old calf died on May 7 earlier at the park, located about 45 minutes from the city centre, but no information was shared by officials on the cause of deaths.

Quoting sources, the report said the incident of deaths in captivity was worrying and needed to be addressed, especially when the Wildlife Park has recently been attacked by an environmental non-governmental organisation (NGO) for the poor up keeping of the facility.

However, state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister who visited the park last week found the place to be satisfactory despite some areas that needed upgrading.

As of now, Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is doing some upgrading works and some of the sections closed for public are the elephant exhibit area, aviary and the botanical park.


Deaths of two elephants at Lok Kawi wildlife park unfortunate
Kristy Inus New Straits Times 30 Jun 18;

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.

Meanwhile Gendu, a 3-year-old female baby elephant was found dead in the early morning of May 8. The calf which was born at the wildlife park with resident elephants parent named Girl and Boy, was still being cared for by her mother and had started eating solid food at the time of her death.

The death came as a shock to the keepers because she was healthy as normal the day before, explained Liew.

“During the postmortem, most of the internal organs were found to have no abnormalities. Samples have been taken for analysis to determine the cause of death since the direct cause of death could not be determined at the time when the post mortem was conducted,” said Liew.

Veterinary officer Dr Symphorosa Sipangkui who is the officer in charge of the wildlife park, added that they are sending Gendu’s samples to a United States disease research centre to determine whether it was caused by Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus, a disease linked to deaths of young elephants.

It is a highly fatal disease especially for animals born in captivity; an acute hemorrhagic disease where the virus attacks the endothelial cells of blood capillaries and victim usually die due to blood loss and shock.

“We did not expect this new disease among Borneo elephants. There were usually occurrences in the US especially Asian elephants, so we are sending samples there to figure it out,” explained Symphorosa.

At present there are 14 elephants in the wildlife park, consisting two calves (below five years old) and five sub-adults.

Liew said she was briefed that all the elephants at the Wildlife Park are cared for according to best practices for animal husbandry, where the pachyderms are given dewormers once in every six months.

Each elephant is given food according to their respective weight twice per day, and the babies are given supplement in their milk by their keepers.

“Utmost care have been given to the elephants in the park but their deaths is inevitable caused by unforeseen circumstances which is very unfortunate, but the veterinary officers at the park are doing their best to prevent any further deaths of the animals,” she said.

In view of that, Liew said the ministry will ask the Sabah Wildlife Department to restructure the management of the park in order for the veterinary officer to concentrate on the husbandry management of the animals. At the moment, Symphorosa is also involved in administrative work of the park.

“She is also involved in field work such as translocation of wildlife and post mortem cases when the need arise. We will also restructure the organisation of the Wildlife Department soon and we will also appoint a panel of animal doctors from the private sector serving as advisors to the zoo.


NGO offers its help to solve Sabah elephant deaths
stephanie lee The Star 4 Jul 18;

KOTA KINABALU: A non-governmental environmental group comprising members from various professional backgrounds is offering help solve elephant death issues in Sabah.

Sabah Environment Action Group (SEAG) chairman Mohammad Iskandar Shah Ali said news of elephants and other wildlife deaths have been reported numerous times over the years, with the most recent involving two elephants at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.

“While NGOs are know mostly to be ‘watchdogs’ or groups to keep the government in check, we in SEAG are ready to take things to the next level,” he said in a statement.

“We are ready to offer our database of professionals and consultants to help the government solve these problems,” he said.

As for the deaths in the Lok Kawi Wildlife park, he said the immediate step was to temporarily shut down the park.

He said the management should work on addressing matters relating to the animals’ welfare, upgrade and improve exhibits or enclosures of animals, sort out breeding programmes and put in place animal adoption programmes before considering reopening the park.

“We can also work with other relevant NGOs in and out of the country,” Mohammad said.

He said the government has introduced numerous conservation plans and programmes, action plans, adoption programmes, seminars and workshops in their bid to tackle environmental and wildlife issues in the state.

“But why is it that the government has not been able to use any of these tools to fix the problems and mistakes in our system?” he asked.

Mohammad said the longer it takes the government to do something, the more animals will die.

Apart from looking at wildlife issues, the SEAG is also helping to address environmental problems including palm oil waste and floating rubbish.

No comments:

Post a Comment