Best of our wild blogs: 12 Oct 18

Pilgrimage to an isle of legends
The Long and Winding Road

Kusu Island pilgrimage 9 Oct to 7 Nov 2018
wild shores of singapore

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First phase of Lornie Highway, also known as Bukit Brown Road, to open on Oct 28

Christopher Tan Straits Times 11 Oct 18;

SINGAPORE - After repeated delays, the first phase of the Lornie Highway - previously known as the Bukit Brown Road - will open on Oct 28.

The southbound section of the road, which runs parallel to Lornie Road, will facilitate traffic flow from Thomson towards the Pan-Island Expressway as well as Adam and Farrer roads.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Thursday (Oct 11) that an underpass constructed near the entrance of the highway will allow motorists to access the residential area along Lornie Road, while a temporary road connection near Sime Road has been built to connect traffic from the existing southbound Lornie Road to southbound Lornie Highway.

"With the opening of southbound Lornie Highway, motorists heading towards the PIE, Adam Road and Farrer Road are advised to use the new Lornie Highway to reach their destinations," the LTA said. "The existing southbound four-lane Lornie Road will progressively be downgraded to two lanes from Oct 28."

The new Lornie Highway, when fully completed by the first quarter of next year, will cater to expected growth in future traffic demand.

Bus services 52, 74, 93, 852 and 855, which currently ply Lornie Road towards Adam Road, will be adjusted to ply the new southbound Lornie Highway. Bus services 157 and 165 will continue to ply Lornie Road.

The existing bus stop along southbound Lornie Road, opposite Singapore Island Country Club, will also be relocated to the southbound Lornie Highway before Kheam Hock Road.

The northbound Lornie Highway towards MacRitchie Viaduct will be completed in phases, with the entire stretch expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.

The road project had already been delayed three times. It was announced in 2011, and at first slated to be completed by mid-2016, and then by the end of last year, and then in two phases from the third quarter of this year.

When the project was announced, it stirred up strong protests from nature and heritage groups because it cut across the forested Bukit Brown area and a cemetery where many Singapore pioneers are buried.

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Malaysia: Female elephant found dead in Sabah forest reserve, believed to have died in fight

stephanie lee The Star 11 Oct 18;

KOTA KINABALU: A female elephant has been found dead at the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve in Tawau.

The elephant, estimated to be between 12 and 15 years old, is believed to have died from injuries sustained after a fight within her herd.

Sabah Wildlife Department public relation officer Siti Nur'ain Ampuan Acheh said they were alerted to the dead elephant on Oct 8 and sent a team to check.

"We went in to find the carcass a day later (Oct 9). Based on the physical condition of the elephant, we believe that it died more than five days ago," she said in a statement.

She said a post-mortem examination later found that there were no bullet wounds on the elephant but there were cracks on its skull and other injuries to its head, nasal and other areas.

"This severe head trauma might have caused severe bleeding inside its head, which led to its death," she said.

She said such injuries were most likely due to fights within the herd.

Earlier, plantation workers reported that they saw about 40 elephants in surrounding areas before discovering the carcass.

Another dead elephant found in Sabah
Olivia Miwil New Straits Times 11 Oct 18;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah recorded its 27th elephant death this year when another wild elephant was found dead in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve in Tawau.

The female elephant was estimated to be between 12 to 15 years old and was found dead on Monday by a Berjaya Sdn Bhd employee who then informed the Sabah Wildlife Department.

The department's public relations officer Siti Nur'ain Ampuan Acheh said acting on the information, a team of investigators were deployed to the location.

The team included veterinary officers as well as the department's staff members tasked with investigating the matter and conduct a post-mortem.

"Based on the physical condition of the carcass, the almost two metre high animal was believed to have been dead for more than five days.

"Checks did not find any physical wounds or bullet entry points. The team also used a metal detector to trace if there are any metals inside the carcass," Siti Nur'ain said in a statement today.

She added that post-mortem report however found fractures in the elephant's head.

Apart from that, the left bone was also severed from the skull, adding that all these pointed to signs of the elephant having sustained strong blows to the head.

"Severe head injuries are believed to have resulted in nerve damages which then led to bleeding and subsequently death.

"There is a large possibility there was a fight with another elephant which led to its death," she said.

According to her, plantation workers in the area had also reported a sighting of some 40 elephants there prior to the discovery of the dead female elephant.

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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.

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Indonesia: Bear attacks couple in Riau rubber plantation

Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 11 Oct 18;

A husband and wife extracting latex in a plantation in Kuantan Singingi, Riau, were attacked by a bear on Wednesday.

Abu Hanifah, 56, and Lastri, 42, suffered severe injuries and are currently undergoing medical treatment at Teluk Kuantan General Hospital.

According to Kuantan Singingi Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Fibri Karpiananto, the bear first attacked Abu and clawed his face. Lastri, who was tapping rubber at the other side of the plantation, came to help her husband after he cried for help.

“She tried to help her husband to shoo the bear, but the bear started attacking her instead and she sustained a gash in her left thigh. Both of them were shouting for help while trying to drive the animal away,” Fibri said on Thursday.

Their shouts were heard by other workers at the plantation, two of whom, Riko and Amri, found the couple covered in blood when they came to help. They took the couple home to their village located 8 kilometers from the plantation.

“The witnesses did not see the bear, since the animal had already left the location by the time they arrived,” Fibri said.

The Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Riau) later dispatched a team to the scene to investigate the bear’s presence.

BKSDA Riau spokesperson Dian Indriati said the team had not been able to locate the bear as of Thursday morning.

“We didn’t find any traces or scratches in the location since the area was dark yesterday,” she said.

Based on information from local residents, Dian added, bear sightings in the area are actually quite common but there is no record of conflict prior to this incident. (dpk)

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Indonesia: 1,453 families affected by flooding in Langkat, N Sumatra

Antara 11 Oct 18;

Langkat, N Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Floods triggered by incessant heavy rains have hit four sub-districts in Langkat District, North Sumatra Province, and affected 1,453 families.

The four flood-affected sub-districts, were Stabat, Binjai, Secanggang and Tanjungpura,Irwan Sahri, head of the Langkat disaster mitigation office, said in Stabat, here, Thursday.

In Stabat, flood waters reaching a height of up to one meter, inundated Karang Rejo village and Kwala Begumit village.

In Binjai, flood submerged Sidomulyo village. In Secanggan, Karang Anyar, Perkotaan, Karang Gading, and Kepala Sungai villages were flooded. In Tanjungpura, floods inundated Pematang Srrai and Paya Perupuk villages.

Meanwhile, floods also submerged rice fields measuring a total of 118 hectares in Stabat and Binjai Sub-districts on Wednesday.

The flooding was triggered by incessant heavy rains that caused Sei Blengking river and Kapal Keruk river to spill over their banks, Miswandi, a local agriculture officer, said.

In Stabat, 78 hectares of rice fields located in Pantai Gemi, Sidomulyo, Ara Condong, and Kwala Bingei villages, were inundated.

"In this sub-district, local farmers had just planted paddies, but downpours caused Sei Blengking river to overflow and submerged the farmers` paddies," he said.

Besides, seven hectares of corn fields located in Banyumas and Kwala Bingei villages in Stabat, were also flooded.

In Binjai, flood affected 40 hectares of rice fields in Suka Makmur and Sambirejo villages.

The local agriculture office has deployed several officers to monitor the condition of flood-affected farming areas in Langkat and to help local farmers.

Reporting by Imam Fauzi
Editing by Fardah, Eliswan

Editor: Fardah Assegaf

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Indonesia: Fresh quake shakes East Java, Bali, kills three

Karina M. Tehusijarana The Jakarta Post 11 Oct 18;

At least three people have died following a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in East Java that was felt in Bali and Lombok in the early hours of Thursday.

According to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) the quake was felt at 01:57 a.m. local time with an epicenter in the ocean 55 kilometers northeast of Situbondo regency, East Java, at a depth of 12 kilometers. No tsunami alert was issued.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has confirmed that three people have died as a result of the earthquake: a seven-year-old boy, a 55-year-old woman and an as-yet-unidentified adult man, all located in Prambanan village, Gayam district, Sumenep regency.

"The victims died after being crushed by a collapsed building," BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement. "The victims were sleeping when the earthquake suddenly hit and caused the house to collapse so the victims could not escape."

Several houses and at least one mosque in Sumenep regency are also reported to be damaged.

The quake was felt throughout East Java and also in parts of Bali and Lombok.

The Nusa Dua Command Center, which was set up to secure the ongoing International Monetary Fund-World Bank Annual Meetings, reported that there were no significant impacts on infrastructure in Nusa Dua, Bali.

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