Photo: Dr. Christopher Luyong

An adult female Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) stranded in Manicahan, Zamboanga City two days ago (November 21). This animal died a few hours later.

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Malaysia: WWF: Culling of bull Elephant a step backwards for conservation
By Ruben Sario, 22nd November 2016;

The Sabah Wildlife Department’s move to cull a bull Borneo Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) that had killed a plantation worker is a “step backwards” in conservation efforts of the endangered species, WWF Malaysia said.

WWF Malaysia executive director Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma said other options are available in dealing with the male Elephant.

In a statement Tuesday, he said that while there is no “one size fits all solution” to the complex human-Elephant conflict, some possible mitigating measures include the use of electric fences at strategic locations.

Dr Sharma said setting up forest corridors between tracts of jungles will also help reduce the conflict.

“It is hoped that the recent culling will not be a precedent for human-Elephant conflict cases in the future,” he said.

“Borneo Elephants are mostly found in Sabah and their population has dwindled over the years due to habitat loss and such conflicts. Therefore, the death of one member is a huge blow to the whole population,” Dr Sharma added.

He noted that the department had confirmed that the culled bull Elephant was in musth, a period when the males are known to exhibit aggressive behaviour, and consequently are susceptible to provocation.

“Therefore, those working or living in areas inhabited by Elephants need to remain alert of their surroundings, particularly during dawn and after 3pm when elephants are known to be more active,” Dr Sharma added.

“When confronting Elephants, restraint must be practised and retribution avoided, as killing Elephants merely addresses the symptoms of a problem,” he said.

Dr Sharma said unsustainable land use planning in Sabah is also partly to blame for human-Elephant conflict.

He said WWF-Malaysia is working with the wildlife and forestry departments as well as plantation companies on joint mitigation options to reduce conflicts via the Kalabakan human-Elephant conflict working group in Tawau.

Wildlife department director Augustine Tuuga said the bull Elephant was shot and killed late Sunday, a day after it trampled an Indonesian national to death on Nov 19.

Source: The Star

Rescue work: Volunteers medically treat two Sumatran Elephants whose legs were injured by a steel trap in Pancasila hamlet, Sei Lepan district, Langkat North Sumatra, on Monday. The Elephants freed themselves after four days of being snared by the mechanism.
Photo: Apriadi Gunawan

Indonesia: Young Elephants free themselves from trap
By Apriadi Gunawan, 22nd November 2016;

After being trapped in a steel snare for four days, two wild Sumatran Elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) in the Mount Leuser National Park (TNGL) managed to free themselves from the trap, although their legs were severely injured and infected.

The mammals were trapped in a community-owned oil palm plantation in Sei Lepan district, Langkat regency, North Sumatra.

Garendel Siboro, head of technical affairs at the North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), said both of the Elephants were females.

Garendel added that they were considered relatively young, with the smaller one believed to be approximately eight years of age and the larger one estimated at 10 years.

The acting team leader of the Elephant rescue operation said his office had received a report about two Elephants caught in a trap set by local residents, but only after the animals had already managed to free themselves from the legholds, with their injured legs still entangled in steel cables.

Garendel said the BKSDA then dispatched a team including volunteers from several NGOs to look for the Elephants. They were found in a critical state at the plantation in Sei Lepan on Friday.

The BKSDA enlisted the help of two veterinarians to remove the cables, which are as thick as a finger, from the Elephants’ legs.

Citing the report from villagers, Garendel said residents had been afraid to approach the animals, because their mother, approximately 20 years old, had been watching closely.

Garendel added that before being trapped, the two young Elephants had been with their mother in search of food on the plantation, in a herd with 11 more Elephants. Along the way, Garendel said, the two young Elephants were caught in traps deliberately built by farmers concerned about the large number of Elephants near their plantation.

The official explained that the wild Elephants had been forced out of their habitat in the TNGL area because their natural surroundings had been damaged by rampant illegal logging and the expansion of oil palm plantations.

“Many sections of the TNGL buffer zone area have been converted to oil palm plantation. As a result, Elephants have lost their habitat and are forced to seek food outside of their habitat,” said Garendel.

North Sumatra BKSDA Conservation Section head Herbert Aritonang said the condition of the two injured Elephants was improving after they received treatment from the vet team.

The Elephants are now entrusted to a privately owned plantation until they recover and are able to walk normally.

“If they have fully recovered and able to walk normally, then we will release and escort them to their herd to meet the other Elephants,” said Herbert.

Source: Jakarta Post

Photo: INFO Sarawak Facebook

Malaysia: Suspected 2.8 metre killer Crocodile culled in Sg Oya
22nd November 2016;

The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) Swift Wildlife Action Team (SWAT) snared a 2.8-metre-long adult Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) from the waters of Sungai Oya near Mukah yesterday.

SFC in a statement yesterday said SWAT members from SFC headquarters assisted by Sibu Regional Office personnel were dispatched to Kampung Bakong, Oya earlier last week to hunt down the Crocodile which attacked and killed Sili Ismail@Esmail, 60, on Nov 11.

“The team commenced culling operations on Nov 18, 13 baited hooks were placed at locations along the river where Sili was attacked. A male Crocodile weighing about 200 kg was hooked just 100 metres from the site where the victim was attacked,” an SFC spokesperson said.

The statement also noted that the operation covered a 5km radius area from the site of the attack.

“With the successful culling of the adult Crocodile deemed capable of the attack, the operation at Sungai Oya was called off yesterday (Sunday).”>/p>

SFC also took the opportunity to extend its gratitude to all parties involved particularly the police and villagers for assistance rendered during the operation.

The spokesperson also reminded the public to be vigilant at all times when using the river.

Source: The Borneo Post