Malaysia: Electrocuted Elephant was still breastfeeding calf, Perak Perhilitan reveals

Elephant

A wild Elephant met a sad end when it was fatally electrocuted after crashing into a contractors’ cabin in Gerik, Perak January 2, 2018.

Source: Gerik Fan Club Facebook

By Sylvia Looi, 3rd January 2018;

A female Elephant (Elephas maximus) which was electrocuted after crashing into a contractors’ cabin in Gerik yesterday, was a female leader of a pack that was still breastfeeding her calf, an official has revealed today.

Perak Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) principal assistant director Wan Shaharuddin Wan Nordin said the department came to the conclusion as milk was coming out from its breast.

“We have no idea how old is her calf but those who saw the herd said the Elephant which died was part of a group of six or seven Elephants,” he told Malay Mail when contacted here.

“With the death of its mother, the calf will now be cared for by other Elephants in the group,” he added.

Wan Shaharuddin said initial investigations showed the female Elephant, which was more than 20 years old, had approached the cabin as it smelled food.

“It tried to push down the cabin door to get to the food. The impact of the push instead caused the electricity supplied to the cabin to land on it thus electrocuting it,” he said.

Wan Shaharuddin added that the female pachyderm was most probably the leader of the herd.

“Upon seeing the leader dead, the herd ran amok and destroyed the other cabins in the area,” he explained.

It was reported that the female pachyderm, which weighed roughly two tonnes, received a 240 volt shock from the electricity supplied to the cabin.

The cabin, located around 100 metres away from the Seri Banding army camp, was being used by contractors who were carrying out repair works on the site of a recent landslide.

Malaysian Nature Society past president Prof Maketab Mohamed when contacted said the tragedy would become the norm due to the conflict between man and nature.

“Elephants are a regular feature along the Gerik to Jeli highway as the pachyderms are not scared of humans. They used to eat food wastes dumped in an illegal dump site along the highway,” he said.

The professor added that Elephants cross the highway regularly at many spots despite the presence of a wildlife viaduct, and explained that the incident would not have occurred if the Elephants had a place to go.

“Stopping all forest conversions would be good,” he quipped, adding that suitable habitats are rarer by the day as more forests being converted to other uses especially to oil palm plantations.

Source: Malay Mail

Malaysia: Female Elephant found electrocuted

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Tragedy along highway: Perhilitan rangers checking the scene where the carcass of the female Elephant was found near Tasik Banding in Gerik.

3rd January 2018;

In another blow to Malaysian wildlife, a two-tonne Elephant (Elephas maximus) has been found dead – this time, electrocuted by a live wire from roadworks.

The female pachyderm was believed to be rummaging for food when it was electrocuted after destroying a cabin set up by contractors carrying out roadworks near Tasik Banding in Gerik.

The 40-year-old Elephant might have been pregnant or recently gi­­ven birth as it was producing milk.

Perak Wildlife and National Parks principal assistant director Wan Shaharuddin Wan Nordin said the Elephant was found dead at about 7.30am yesterday although it could have been electrocuted much earlier.

“When we reached the site, we found the animal was already dead.

“We immediately alerted Tenaga Nasional Bhd to disconnect the supply,” he said, adding that no criminal element was found in the case.

The deaths of a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) and a Tapir (Tapirus indicus) due to road accidents on Christmas Eve have alarmed conservationists. The carcass of the tapir was later skinned by a group of men.

Last year, a calf and a 10-year-old Elephant were killed by vehicles along the Gerik-Jeli Highway.

The Management & Ecology of Malaysian Elephants, which has been tracking the herd the female Elephant belonged to, said the animal might either be pregnant or had just given birth.

“We are not sure about this at the moment but there was milk coming out from its breasts,” said its field manager Alicia Solana.

“It is very common for them to roam around this area beside the highway as there is plenty of grass and suitable food.”

Solana said it was believed that the Elephant was electrocuted after pushing against the zinc wall of the cabin.

“It is a big loss emotionally for this herd as we see them very often,” she said.

Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia co-founder and CEO Andrew Sebastian said contractors should have been more alert and careful when setting up cabins in areas with wildlife.

“There are plenty of signboards along the Royal Belum-Temenggor and East-West Highway warning motorists and the public about the presence of Elephants,” Sebastian said.

The Star

Malaysia: Forty-year-old female Elephant dead after being electrocuted in Perak

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Source: Info Roadblock JPJ/POLIS Facebook

2nd January 2018;

Perak residents discovered a two-ton female Elephant (Elephas maximus), dead from an apparent electrocution near Tasek Banding, three hours outside of KL, early yesterday morning.

Local Wildlife and National Parks Department acting director Wan Shaharuddin Wan Nordin told reporters that a team of officers rushed to the scene after it was reported at 7:30am.

The perimeter was blocked off, while electricity purveyor Tenaga Nasional Berhad turned off the electrical supply in the area.

Officials believe that the Elephant was electrocuted after pushing against a zinc wall on a contractor’s cabin, and damaging an electrical line in the process. She is believed to be around 40 years old.

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Pictures of the animal have since gone viral on Facebook.

Malaysia’s tropical jungle is home to a dizzying array of wildlife, from Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) to Pangolins (Manis javanica) to Elephants, but their numbers have been dwindling.

They are targeted by poachers, their natural habitat has been shrinking due to expansion of plantations, while hundreds have been killed on busy roads as the highway network has rapidly expanded.

Two Elephants were killed in the space of three months earlier this year after being hit by vehicles along a stretch of highway in the same area that the Elephant was electrocuted.

Source: Coconuts KL

Malaysia: Female Elephant electrocuted in Gerik

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The Elephant was electrocuted after pushing against the zinc wall of a temporary house in Gerik.
Source: Malaysian Response Team Facebook

2nd January 2018;

A female Elephant (Elephas maximus) died in Gerik, Perak after it was believed to have been electrocuted by a live wire.

The Management & Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) said that the Elephant was estimated to be about 40 years old.

Its field manager Alicia Solana said that there is a possibility that the Elephant was either pregnant or had just given birth.

“We are not sure about this at the moment, but there was milk coming out from its breasts,” she told the Star Online on Tuesday.

The incident occurred close to the Seri Banding army camp in Gerik on Monday night.

She added that the Elephant was most likely part of a group of other females and babies looking for food.

“It is very common for them to roam around this area beside the highway as there is plenty of grass and suitable food for them,” she said.

Solana said it was believed that the Elephant was electrocuted after pushing against the zinc wall of a temporary house built in the area, which is located next to the highway.

There was no one around at the time of the incident, added Solana.

“It is a big loss emotionally as we knew this group and could identify them. We saw them very often,” she said.

Source: The Star

Malaysia: Elephant fatally electrocuted after smashing into cabin

Elephant
A wild Elephant met a sad end when it was fatally electrocuted after crashing into a contractors’ cabin in Gerik, Perak January 2, 2018.
Source: Gerik Fan Club Facebook

By Loghun Kumaran, 2nd January 2018;

A wild Elephant (Elephas maximus) was fatally electrocuted after crashing into a contractors’ cabin in Gerik, northern Perak earlier today.

The female pachyderm, which weighed roughly two tonnes, was believed to have smashed through the cabin sometime early this morning before it received a 240 volt shock from the electricity supplied to the cabin.

The cabin, located around 100 metres away from the Seri Banding army camp, was being used by contractors who were carrying out repair works on the site of a recent landslide.

Perak Department Of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) principal assistant director Wan Shaharuddin Wan Nordin said the Gerik Perhilitan office was alerted to the incident at around 7.30am.

“When we reached the site of the incident, we found the carcass of a female Elephant, and we moved to control the area. Tenaga Nasional Berhad also shut off the power to the cabin.” he said when contacted today.

“After conducting an investigation, we found no criminal elements from the post-mortem, which was completed around 4pm.”

So far, Wan Shaharuddin said he was not aware if the Elephant had interacted with any people during the incident.

He said the department would now dispose of the pachyderm’s carcass in accordance with their standard operating procedure.

Gerik police chief Supt Ismail Che Isa confirmed the incident happened at around 4am, and that no civilians or army personnel were injured.

Source: Malay Mail

Malaysia: Elephant electrocuted

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The Elephant which was electrocuted.

By P. Chandra Sagaran, 2nd January 2018;

A female Elephant (Elephas maximus) weighing about two tonnes was found dead after being electrocuted near Tasek Banding here today.

Perak Wildlife and National Parks Department acting director Wan Shaharuddin Wan Nordin said a team of officers rushed to the scene after being alerted to the incident at 7.30am.

“We cordoned off the area while Tenaga Nasional Berhad disconnected the electricity supply,” he added.

The animal is believed to be about 40 years old and believed to have been electrocuted after pushing against the zinc wall of a contractor’s cabin in the area.

Several pictures of the dead animal had since gone viral in the social media.

The Sun Daily

Photo: Detik.com

Indonesia: Four Sumatran Elephants died in Riau in 2016: WWF
3rd January 2017;

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has said that four Sumatran Elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) died in 2016 in Riau Province, a decline from the previous year.

“In 2015, there were 10 cases of dead Elephants, while in 2016, the number decreased to four,” Spokesperson of WWF of the Riau Program Syamsidar said here on Tuesday.

The four deaths are believed to have occurred due to conflict between humans and wild animals.

Last year, the Tesso Nilo National Park Authority found the carcass of a Sumatran Elephant in Pelalawan District.

They also found a Sumatran Elephant snared in an industrial forest concession. The animal did not survive despite treatment.

In September last year, an Elephant calf was found trapped in a ditch in an industrial forest concession with wounds all over its body.

“An Elephant also died after being electrocuted in Duri region, near a residential area,” Syamsidar said.

No suspects were either identified or arrested in these cases, Syamsidar said.

WWF, an international non-governmental organization in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of humanitys footprint on the environment, estimated there were around 100 Sumatran elephants living in the Sumatran habitat.

As the landscapes and the habitats make way for industry and residential areas, wildlife is facing greater challenges for survival.

Although conflict between humans and wildlife is inevitable, Syamsidar said that the local authority and several private enterprises, which have forest concessions in Riau, have been working together to prevent and mitigate the conflict.

Only three private enterprises, PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), Asian Agri and PT Musim Mas, have been involved in this effort by adopting the human-wildlife conflict mitigation system being implemented by the WWF and Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of Riau.

RAPP has established a so-called flying squad, consisting of at least four grown Elephants and two calves, whose task is to conduct patrols around the concession area to avert human-wildlife conflict as well as prevent Elephant herds trespassing into residential areas or villages.

Asian Agri has a similar program but they conduct patrolling without using Elephants, Syamsidar said.

“They perform the patrol manually, without any Elephants, but still adopt the measures used by the WWF, such as using a carbide cannon,” he said.

PT Musim Mas, however, is committed to provide financial support for the program, Syamsidar said.

Source: Antara

Officials inspect the dead elephant at the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary in Si Sawat district of Kanchanaburi on Saturday.
Photo: Piyarach Chongcharoen

Thailand: Elephant believed electrocuted in Kanchanaburi
By Piyarach Chongcharoen, 10th September 2016;

A male Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) found dead in Si Sawat district on Saturday was believed to have been electrocuted by a low-hanging power line, authorities said.

Paitoon Intarabut, chief of the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary, said staff of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand found the Elephant dead on the road to a radar station in tambon Tha Kradan at about 1.30pm.

Sanctuary officials who went to the scene found the Elephant, believed to be 15-20 years old, lying dead on the road with burns on its trunk and left front and rear feet.

The Elephant might have been walking on the ground a few metres above the road and using its trunk to feed on bamboo, Mr Paitoon said.

Some bamboo branches might have been touching a low-hanging power line and it was possible that the Elephant was electrocuted and fell onto the road, he said.

Confirmation of the cause of death awaits an autopsy by veterinarians from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and the Livestock and Wildlife Hospital in Kanchanaburi.

Established in 1965, Salakpra was Thailand’s first wildlife sanctuary and is home to an estimated 130-150 Elephants.

Source: Bangkok Post

Indonesia: Sumatran Elephants poisoned, electrocuted

By Apriadi Gunawan and Jon Afrizal, 28th February 2016;

Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) populations have been continuing to decrease mainly due to illegal hunting, which uses various methods to kill the protected giant mammal, from poisoning to electrocution.

“Recently, we found many Elephants dead from poisoning and electrocution. The illegal hunters consider those ways not too risky,” Doni Gunaryadi of the Indonesia Elephant Conservation Forum (FKGI) told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

Doni said almost every month an Elephant was found dead in Sumatra due to illegal hunting that takes place in eight of the island’s nine provinces.

He said that today there was no Elephant hunting in West Sumatra because there had been no Elephants in the province since 2007 when their habitat in Kota Panjang was used for the construction of a hydro power plant.

According to the FKGI’s data, the Elephant population across Sumatra is estimated to have reached 2,400 in 2007, but had decreased to 1,700 elephants in 2014.

Doni said there had been an increase in illegal hunting recently due to high prices being paid for the animal’s tusks.

For a super quality tusk, he said, the price could reach tens of millions of rupiah per kilogram while the price of a small tusk could reach millions of rupiah per kilogram.

He said tusks of Sumatran Elephants were sold in and outside of Sumatra, reaching Bali and East Nusa Tenggara where foreign buyers were waiting. “The buyers are mostly foreigners. They love Sumatran Elephant tusks because they’re beautifully shaped and strong,” he said.

Besides illegal hunting, Doni said, the decreasing population of the Elephants was also caused by the expansion of plantations, including massive palm-oil plantations.

He said the Elephants that lost their habitats entered residential areas to seek food and were getting into trouble with villagers.

“Conflicts between Elephants and residents are happening, especially in Riau, Jambi and Aceh. In those three regions, the mortality rate of Elephants is dozens every year,” he said.

FKGI chairman Krismanko Padang said police were currently detaining two illegal hunters for killing two Elephants in Tebo regency in Jambi recently. Police are also searching for the hunters’ accomplices.

Krismanko said the hunters, who were arrested in Riau, would be charged under the Conservation Law for crimes that carried a maximum punishment of five years in prison and a fine of Rp 100 million (US$7,100).

On Jan. 21 the Pangkalan Kerinci District Court in Riau sentenced four men to two-and-a-half years in prison each for hunting and killing Elephants in Tesso Nilo National Park (TNTN) in Pelalawan regency. The court also fined them Rp 20 million each.

Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Sumatran Elephants poisoned, electrocuted

Photos: Detik.com [1], [2], [3]

Indonesia: Elephant electrocuted, investigation urged
By Rizal Harahap, 5th February 2016;

The Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) said on Thursday the death of a Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus), the carcass of which was found in the Balai Raja subdistrict, Pinggir district, Bengkalis, was caused by electrocution and is urging the government to probe into the case.

“The indication is supported by a skin injury on its trunk, which likely made contact with the electrified fence,” said the BKSDA Duri region head Haluanto Ginting.

Haluanto said the allegation was also strengthened by a damaged wire fence at a cassava farm close to where the dead Elephant was found.

Based on an initial investigation, the cassava farm purposely installed an electrified fence to protect plants from being damaged by wild Elephants.

“I cannot make sure whether the person who installed the electrified fence could be implicated. Just let investigators decide it,” said Haluanto.

A necropsy, conducted by a team of veterinarians at the BKSDA, did not find any trace of poison inside the internal organs of the Elephant, which was found dead on Wednesday.

“The necropsy was delayed at one point because of bad weather, but was eventually completed before noon. It’s almost certain the Elephant was not poisoned,” said Haluanto.

He said the Elephant carcass would be buried today, while samples of its internal organs would be sent for analysis to a veterinary lab in Bogor, West Java, or in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra.

“The lab results will be issued in the next two weeks, when the exact cause of the elephant’s death will be disclosed,” he added.

Separately, Duri-Riau Environmental Activists Association (Hipam) head Zulhusni Syukri urged relevant agencies to investigate the alleged use of electrified fences to protect farms from Elephants.

“Elephant deaths from electrified fences are not new. Two years ago, an Elephant was also electrocuted in Semunai village, Pinggir district, Bengkalis,” said Zulhusni.

“It’s very dangerous. Many farm owners in Bengkalis install electrified fences to protect their farms. This must be thoroughly probed, especially if it violates the law,” added Zulhusni.

Based on Riau Program Worldwide Fund for Nature (AAF) Indonesia, the Elephant’s death was the first in Bengkalis this year. Last year, two wild bull Elephants were killed, one in February because of poaching and the second in July because of poisoning.

To prevent Elephant deaths from occurring, Riau Program WWF Indonesia spokesperson Syamsidar urged the government to restore the function of the Balai Raja Wildlife Refuge. “The natural animal habitat is extremely disturbed so Elephants roam up to people’s farms in search of food,” said Syamsidar.

She also highlighted the presence of a number of companies clearing the Balai Raja conservation forest for expansion at will. “Overlapping licensing should immediately be resolved. The relevant authorities must be firm that all the oil palm trees in the conservation area must be cut. The cut areas must be further monitored to prevent other parties from claiming them,” said Syamsidar.

Apart from the Balai Raja Wildlife Refuge, she added Elephants had also lost a source of food in their habitat that had been converted into acacia and oil palm plantations.

“The Elephants’ roaming range stretches from Balai Raja to the border between Bengkalis and Rokan Hulu regencies. The Elephants traverse many concessions all the time so that their habitat is further fragmented and overlaps with human activities,” she said.

Syamsidar suggested companies whose concessions were included in the Elephant roaming range to form a response team to prevent victims of human-animal conflicts.

“The potential of conflicts is apparently high, so concession holders must be involved in Elephant protection efforts. Apart from conducting patrols to monitor Elephants entering and leaving a concession area, the response team must also be able to anticipate a human-Elephant conflict,” said Syamsidar.

Source: Jakarta Post