Malaysia: Sabah Wildlife Dept captures aggressive female elephant in Telupid

OLIVIA MIWIL New Straits Times 22 Feb 18;

TELUPID: Sabah Wildlife Department has captured an aggressive female elephant Wednesday following villagers’ complaints.

This was made possible by the department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit.

NSTP has recently reported that the human-elephant conflict here has grown rampant with sightings of two herds of about 20 elephants reported at Kampung Gambaron and its surrounding areas since early this year.

The Wildlife Rescue Unit has been stationed at the area around the clock to contain the situation involving the large herd of elephants, including four baby elephants.

The herd, however, has gone separate ways in search of food, making it harder for the team to keep the elephants under control.

It is understood that three of the elephants have been identified as aggressive.

Department director Augustine Tuuga had said the three elephants, once caught, will be relocated to the Imbak forest reserve located about 100km from here.

In a statement, the Wildlife Rescue Unit acting manager Dr Diana Ramirez said the elephant has now been secured and will be translocated soon.

The department also listed villages damaged by the elephants so far. The villages are Kampung Gambaron 1, Kampung Gambaron 2, Kampung Batu 4, Kampung Bintang-Mas, Kampung Bauto, Kampung Telupid, SMK Telupid, Telupid Agricultural Department, Kampung Gaab, Kampung Lubang Batu, and Kampung Maliau.

The department has also stated that since the operation began, at least RM10,000 has been spent. However, the unit is currently fully funded by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council.

Yesterday, the unit also managed to secure a bigger team to conduct the operation, headed by Jibius Dausip, as well as additional hands from the Orangutan Appeal UK, Eco Health Alliance and Gambaron youths.

The bigger tea allowed the rescue unit team to focus on the translocation, while the rest of the support focused on elephant control to avoid further damages to the villages.

Telupid may see an end to attacks by aggressive elephants
stephanie lee The Star 22 Feb 18;

KOTA KINABALU: Over the past month, villagers in Sabah's interior Telupid district have been terrorised by several aggressive elephants.

Not only were they faced with dangers from being attacked, their plantations were also damaged.

However, their plight might end soon with wildlife rangers capturing a female elephant on Wednesday (Feb 21).

"A few from the herd of about 20 elephants have been acting aggressively towards villagers and our rangers, especially those involved in controlling their movements," said Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga in a statement Thursday (Feb 22).

He said it had been a difficult task to control and locate all the elephants, which included four babies and two bulls, as they normally travelled in several groups in search for food.

Augustine said the translocation operations by the Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) were funded by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).

Apart from the Sabah Wildlife Department, other agencies such as the Orangutan Appeal UK, Eco Health Alliance and Belia Gambaron were also involved in the operation.

This allowed the WRU team to focus on the translocation, while the rest of the support focused on elephant control to avoid further damages.

About RM10,000 has been spent the past month for the purpose.