Malaysia: Pygmy elephant calf dies after being caught in snare trap

natasha joibi The Star 27 Jul 18;

KOTA KINABALU: A Borneo pygmy elephant calf was unable to survive the trauma of being caught in a snare trap set by poachers and died hours after being found.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga confirmed the calf's death at the Sungai Taliwas Forest Reserve in Lahad Datu, and said it was found with a snare trap wire still wrapped around its right foot on Thursday (July 26).

"Unfortunately, it died the night of our visit," he said, adding that they would provide more details once these were provided by the veterinary officer.

Tuuga himself came across the calf – which was alone and isolated from the rest of its herd – while he was accompanying Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Assafal Alian on a working visit to Kawag Tourism Centre on Thursday.

He added that this was not the first incident of its kind and there had been at least 18 elephant deaths reported this year.

It is believed that the calf was separated from its group due to its injuries, which worsened each time it moved as the trap tightened further around its foot.

It was reported that the elephant was sedated so that it could be treated and relocated, but it came too late to save the animal's life.