KOTA KINABALU, Oct 21 — Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal today said that authorities are considering using high-tech equipment to track down poachers behind the killings of endangered wildlife in the state.
Speaking to reporters about the latest killing of an elephant — the second incident in a month — Shafie said that the state would consider high technology that could assist in tracking down the suspects.
“I think we may have to use some new technology, for instance, to detect who are the culprits. Maybe not drones but new ones that can enable us to locate where they are and who they are,” he said when met at his office here today.
Shafie said the issue must be tackled immediately because international anti-palm oil lobbyists have been using the poaching cases against the country to influence the global market against buying Malaysian crude palm oil (CPO).
“Of course, this has impacted our CPO. This has been among the issues highlighted by the international community in developed countries, against buying Malaysian CPO — they’ve cited this sort of examples,” he said.
He, however, said that the killings will not discourage non-governmental organisations from channelling conservation funds to the state.
“The more such incident happens, the more they’ll be around to ensure they can help us,” he said, adding that he was grateful for help from organisations based in the United Kingdom which has contributed a lot to flora and fauna conservation in Sabah.
It was reported yesterday that another elephant was killed and its tusks missing, in Sabah’s east coast — this time in a plantation in Beluran on Saturday. The elephant was believed to have been killed a few days prior.
Police, accompanied by wildlife rangers investigating the case, arrested a 20-year-old local man who is a hired guard for the plantation.
This is the second bull pygmy elephant killing reported after a previous incident in Sungai Udin, Dumpas in Kalabakan, Tawau where a juvenile elephant was found riddled with over 70 bullets.