Malaysia: Experts sent to conduct operation on elephants

Simon Khoo The Star 11 Dec 12;

TEMERLOH: Five personnel with expertise in catching and taming wild elephants from the National Elephant Conservation Centre in Kuala Gandah have been sent to Sungai Siput to conduct an operation.

Its elephant unit chief Nasharuddin Othman said the team was needed to assist the Perak Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) to track down a herd of wild elephants.

“We received information that a herd of about eight elephants are running loose in the jungle and posing a threat to nearby villagers.

“If left unchecked, it may encroach into vegetable and fruits farms belonging to the villagers.

“Some villagers have alerted Perhilitan that the elephants are wandering around for food at night and early morning due to the current fruit season,” he said.

Nasharuddin said several foot prints and stools were detected in the surroundings but they had yet to locate the leader of the herd.

He said efforts would be on-going to trap the pachyderms and relocate them to a suitable site.

“We would continue to assist Perhilitan personnel to monitor the situation closely at the villages to prevent any untoward incident.

“Villagers should not resort to rash action for their own safety,” he said.

Nasharuddin said so far, there was no report of personal sightings by the villagers except for complaints of losses in fruit bunches worth thousands of ringgit.

He urged villagers who stumble upon the pachyderms to report to the authorities immediately so that prompt action could be taken to trap and relocate them.

“If provoked, the elephants may retaliate, resulting in damages or injuries to villagers,” he said.