Malaysia: Pahang 'has moved 19 elephants'

M. Hamzah Jamaludin New Straits Times 5 Jul 13;

ALLAYING FEARS: Relocation to protect villagers and crops

KUANTAN: NINETEEN elephants have been captured and relocated after they wandered near settlements and destroyed villagers' crops in Pahang since 2008.

State Rural Development, Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Committee chairman Datuk Shafik Fauzan Sharif said the state Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) had always monitored the areas where there was a conflict between wildlife and humans.

He said Perhilitan staff would try to force the animals back into the jungle before they made a decision to translocate them to a wildlife reserve.

"The authorities have taken various steps to allay the people's fears, especially villagers who are afraid to go to their plantations or orchards," he said to a question from Datuk Mohamed Sohaimi Md Shah (BN-Sungai Lembing).

Shafik said the most recent incident occurred in May when a wild bull elephant was caught at Kampung Seberang Kawah in Sungai Lembing.

On whether compensation was paid to villagers, he said the state government did not have an aid scheme for such cases

State Felda Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Abu Bakar Harun said the state government might consider the proposal to establish new townships in Felda schemes.

In his reply to Datuk Wan Kadri Wan Mahussin (BN-Bukit Ibam), Abu Bakar said the state government would cooperate with Felda to implement the proposal.

Abu Bakar said the government had introduced initiatives to improve the livelihood of people living in rural areas.