Sabah CM calls for thorough probe on death of Borneo pygmy elephants

WRU acting manager and chief vet Diana Ramirez checks on a rescued baby Borneo Pygmy Elephant before releasing it back to the wild. — Picture courtesy of Scubazoo
WRU acting manager and chief vet Diana Ramirez checks on a rescued baby Borneo Pygmy Elephant before releasing it back to the wild. — Picture courtesy of Scubazoo

KOTA KINABALU, May 21 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal wants the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) to conduct a thorough probe on the deaths of six Borneo pygmy elephants that happened over a space of a month.

Mohd Shafie said the department needed to take appropriate action to stop more of  such unnecessary deaths that endanger the wildlife besides checking on human-elephant conflict and other issues including poaching.

“I understand from news reports that the cause of deaths of the elephants since early April and May 20 has yet to be established.

“The Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) government is committed towards the preservation and conservation of Sabah’s wildlife and natural resources and will not bow down to pressure from any groups,

“I do not want lip service. I want to see short and long-term conservation plans drawn up to be implemented on a fast track basis,” he said in a statement here today.

Mohd Shafie said he wanted to see the SWD and Sabah Forestry Department work closely together towards protecting the wildlife and forests in  addition to working with NGOs in fast-tracking forest corridors without fear of business interest of individuals.

“I believe that the network is there for the implementation but there has been little will in the past to push it through,” he added.

He also directed State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew to immediately get a briefing on the situation and see how best to fast-track all necessary efforts to protect the state’s wildlife. — Bernama

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