KOTA KINABALU, Dec 8 — A male elephant that was captured at an oil palm plantation in Telupid last month died at the Borneo Wildlife Sanctuary in Kinabatangan last Wednesday.
Sabah Wildlife Director Augustine Tuuga said the elephant, estimated to be six or seven years of age, had shown signs of injury when it was captured by the Wildlife Department’s Rescue Unit.
He said the elephant was reported to have been aggressive towards plantation workers and villagers in surrounding areas, which led to its capture on Nov 24 at Desa Plantation, and was then taken to Borneo Elephant Sanctuary.
“While undergoing medical examination and treatment, its tongue was found to have serious wound, believed to have been caused by a gunshot.
“The wound on the tongue made the elephant unable to eat or drink,” he said in a statement here tonight.
Tuuga said a post mortem conducted on the elephant found a bullet lodged in the injured front left leg and there were also gunshot marks on the body, but did not penetrate or caused any internal organ injury.
“Dehydration is believed to be the cause of death because the elephant was unable to drink due to the injury on its tongue,” he said.
Tuuga said the Sabah Wildlife Department would be investigating the case as it involved the death of a totally protected species.
“While the Sabah Wildlife Department fully understand the problem faced by the people associated with elephant in their environment, we would really appreciate cooperation from all concerned by contacting the department’s nearest office for assistance to mitigate disturbance and property loss,” he said. — Bernama