Malaysia: Rogue elephant in Mersing captured and relocated

desiree tresa gasper The Star 1 Mar 14;

MERSING: A 15-year-old male elephant that strayed from its herd and was causing problems for residents near Kampung Sri Mersing here was captured and relocated by the state National Parks and Wildlife Department (Perhilitan).

Village resident Sihen Rahman, 77, said that the elephant was mischievous and often wandered near his home and ate his banana plants.

“It also likes to wander near our houses, so much so that sometimes we can hear its ears flapping near the window pane,” he said.

Sihen said the villagers are happy that the bull would be relocated to a forested area.

Oil palm plantation owner Ezanie Izuadi Zakaria, 33, was also delighted that the animal was being moved as it had been trampling and eating his oil palm shoots.

“We cannot blame the elephant as my plantation is very near its natural habitat,” he said.

He added that it was good that Perhilitan acted fast to transfer the elephant as it was also dangerous to have a wild animal roaming so close to the plantation and neighbouring villages.

Johor Perhilitan director Hasnan Yusop said that the operation to shift the elephant had started last Friday following complaints by residents.

“We first had to capture the wild creature and then arrange for a special lorry and two of our tame elephants Rambai and Kala to guide it into the lorry,” he said.

He added that Rambai and Kala were usually used to calm wild elephants down and guide them to follow the directions given by Perhilitan personnel.

“The bull will be released at the Endau-Rompin National Park, and we will continue to monitor its progress,” he said, adding that those who noticed wild animals, including elephants and tapirs, should alert the state Perhilitan at 07-2230580.