KOTA KINABALU, June 22 — A rescued baby elephant whose foot was amputated after it was caught in a snare trap died last evening from its injuries.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Arifin announced the death of the female calf here at 6.15pm yesterday, while under the care of veterinarians from the Wildlife Department.
“After the surgery was done on June 20 to amputate its foot, it showed positive development by eating and drinking as normal,” he said.
However, the elephant appeared to suffer a relapse the next day and was given medication to which it appeared to respond positively.
In the evening, its condition deteriorated again, and it couldn’t stand up. It stopped breathing at 6.15pm.
“The post-mortem done on the elephant today showed that it died from organ failure, specifically its heart, lungs and internal digestive system. Veterinarians believe this to be result of the injuries it sustained from the snare,” said Jafry.
He said he believes the veterinarians did all they could to help save the elephant but expressed sadness that it had died.
“I hope this kind of injury and death do not happen again in the future. I appeal to all Sabahans to come together and stop such snare trapping which is not only against the law but also needlessly cruel to our wildlife, especially endangered species such as the elephants,” he said.
Yesterday, it was reported that the baby elephant, with an estimated age of around two years, had limped for days on an almost-severed foot before a team from the Wildlife Rescue Unit tracked it down and treated it by amputating its right foot.
It had been caught in a snare trap, and was first sighted in Tungku, Lahad Datu.
The elephant population in Sabah has been on the losing end of the human-wildlife conflict, causing numbers to dwindle significantly over the years.
This incident is yet another in a series of reports of elephants found injured, poisoned, killed for their tusks, or just slaughtered with no known motive.