Malaysia: Works ongoing to track and translocate 62 elephants in Lahad Datu plantations

Hazsyah Abdul Rahman New Straits Times 11 Oct 18;

LAHAD DATU: Sabah Wildlife Department and plantation workers are still working on tracking and translocating a herd of elephants that have encroached into palm oil plantations in Ulu Segama, near here.

The department's director Augustine Tuuga said there are actually 62 elephants roaming around the location and not 40, as per an initial estimate.

He informed that the elephants have divided into five smaller groups.

Because of this, Augustine said it is making the effort to translocate the elephants to the Kawag or Ulu Segama Forest Reserves more difficult.

“For now, among affected plantation areas are Transkina, Agro Chem and farms located in between the Kaeag and Mesuli Forest Reserves,” he said when contacted by NSTP.

Last Saturday, NSTP had reported that about 40 elephants had entered the plantations since Oct 1.

One of them suffered injuries on its leg believed to be inflicted by a snare trap.

Augustine added those elephants could have gone to the plantations as workers were chopping old palm oil trees which are the animals' favourite food.

The herd was also reported to be in the Mesuli Forest Reserve in the morning and wander off to plantation areas from evening to dawn.

“The number of staff has been increased to nine and assisted by plantation workers.

“The way to chase them is by the sounds of gun firing, bon fires, vehicles and heavy machineries,” he added.