PUTRAJAYA, June 3 — Preliminary reports indicate that a cow and three bull elephants recently found dead in Kluang, Johor, belong to the Bandar Tenggara herd that roamed the Lenggor; Kluang and Kluang Tambahan; Labir and Sembrong forest reserves in Johor and Taman Negara Endau Rompin, Pahang.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said that these primary habitats are surrounded by agricultural areas, plantations and residential settlements.

“I would like to emphasise that elephant habitats and roaming areas are crucial to support the elephant population, as habitat loss due to land use changes for agriculture, plantations, settlements, urbanisation and infrastructure development results in human-elephant conflicts.

“Human-elephant conflicts can lead to the destruction of agricultural crops, property damage, injuries and loss of life,” he said in a statement today.

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On Saturday, Johor Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director Aminuddin Jamin reported that post-mortems would be conducted to determine the cause of death of the four elephants found dead in a fruit orchard in Kahang Timur, Kluang.

Nik Nazmi urged anyone with information regarding the incident to contact Perhilitan through their hotline at 1-800-88-5151.

“Further investigations are underway, and Perhilitan is also conducting inspections and monitoring around the area,” he said.

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He noted that according to Perhilitan’s records, 646 human-elephant conflict complaints were reported in Johor from 2020 to May 2024, with 292 complaints involving the Kluang district.

According to Nik Nazmi, current data estimates the elephant population in Johor to be between 120 and 160.

“Elephants are one of the country’s iconic wildlife species and are fully protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716),” he said.

Nik Nazmi highlighted that the government is continuously proactive in preserving and conserving wildlife habitats, including for elephants, through several initiatives such as developing the National Elephant Conservation Action Plan 2023-2030, establishing the National Elephant Conservation Centre in Lanchang, Pahang, and intensifying efforts to gazette forested areas as Permanent Forest Reserves. — Bernama