Malaysia: Elephant strolls through school canteen in Sabah

stephanie lee The Star 1 Mar 18;

KOTA KINABALU: The unexpected appearance of an elephant caused panic among teachers and students of SMK Telupid when it sauntered through their school canteen on Thursday morning.

Beluran police chief Supt V. Shivananthan said the incident, which happened at 6am, was the second case this year involving elephants trespassing into inhabited areas in Sabah's interior Telupid district.

"This morning, an elephant went into the SMK Telupid canteen in search for food, shocking students and teachers," he said.

On Feb 28, about 10 elephants entered the compound of the Beluran police station after the herd got through the fence, he added.

Meanwhile, wildlife rangers have their hands full trying to locate the elephants following reports of them wandering into the police station and school.

Wildlife Rescue Unit veterinarian Dr Diana Ramirez, who is part of the team trying to relocate the elephants back into the forest, said they have been trying to keep the herd away from humans and residential areas for the past month.

"We are still trying to capture more and get the herd away from humans," she said.

She said they managed to capture four elephants – believed to be the more aggressive ones – about a week ago and these would be translocated soon.

It is estimated that there are about 20 elephants which are terrorising villagers and wildlife rangers as well as destroying plantations and property.

Sabah Wildlife employee pursued by elephants falls into ravine
HAZSYAH ABDUL RAHMAN New Straits Times 2 Mar 18;

TELUPID: An employee of the Sabah Wildlife Department fell into a ravine when chased by elephants yesterday.

The 30-year-old victim was injured but is now stable after treatment.

Department director Augustine Tuuga said he was trying to get rid of the elephants roaming around the district police station and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Telupid here but fell into the ravine when trying to escape from the elephants.

He added that the human-elephant conflict here involved more than 20 elephants has been going on for a year

“All had been captured and translocated to the Deramakot Forest Reserve.

"However, the herd came back here again from Dec 18,” Augustine said, adding the department had despatched many of its personnel from other districts to address the issue.

He added they also sought help from the youth in several villages here, Civil Defence personnel, and non-governmental organisations.

However, they only captured five elephants and translocated them to Imbak Canyon forest reserve.

NSTP had yesterday reported that students and teachers of SMK Telupid here were shocked when an elephant strolled into their school in the morning.

The unexpected 6am visit saw the lone pachyderm enter the school premises before heading for the canteen, apparently in search of food.

The herd had also gone into district police station after damaging the fence.