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


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: Elephant fatally electrocuted after smashing into cabin

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: As endangered fauna fall victim to motorists, minister moves to call cross-ministry meeting
By May Robertson, 28th December 2017;

After yet more deaths, Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has mooted a cross-ministry meeting to address the increasing number of roadkill cases involving threatened species.

In response two heart-breaking incidents on Christmas Eve that saw motorists killing a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) and a Tapir (Tapirus indicus) — both on the east coast, Wan Junaidi said a collaboration involving the different ministries such as the Transport Ministry, could help address the issue once and for all.

“I will call for a meeting early next year, perhaps in January or February,” he told Malay Mail when contacted this week.

“People are responsible for these killings and they must be held accountable,” he added.

Wan Junaidi said he would also call for a meeting with the various road authorities, including the police and the Road Transport Department.

The minister stressed that drivers who disregard wildlife crossing sign boards should be heavily fined, as they risk killing an endangered or protected animal.

“There are 236 signboards up in 113 hotspots in the country to alert drivers of wildlife crossings, but it is never taken seriously, even if the animal was not endangered or protected drivers must be cautious,” he said.

Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, another 202 signboards will be placed in other hotspots nationwide.

“Right now there is no law compelling drivers to abide by these laws, but to have this be taken seriously some drastic measures must be put in place.

"Soon enough irresponsible drivers will pay for the harm they cause to nature, but the enforcement of such a law must be strict and that’s why there must firstly be a meeting to highlight the different challenges,” Wan Junaidi added.

He also said it was difficult for the ministry to fork out RM70 million for the construction of each viaduct or wildlife crossing.

“It is expensive, we do not have such funds just lying around, furthermore we must remember that we are dealing with wild animals,” he said.

“We cannot force an animal to use a crossing or viaduct, they will go where they want, we need the cooperation of various parties like highway concessionaires.”

He added that through meetings with the East Coast Rail Line project handlers, the route was redesigned to affect less wildlife habitats and that such discussion should be replicated for all projects involving the environment.

“The ministry had meetings with them last year to address the concerns of cutting through some 2000 hectares of forest,” he said.

“Eventually, the NRE was consulted and we managed to save 90 per cent of the forest from the initial route, the new route affects 200 hectares instead.”

On Sunday, a 100-kg Malayan Tapir — an endangered species — was killed by a Proton Saga that hit it at KM12 of the Gua Musang-Kuala Krai trunk road in Kelantan, before it was skinned and its snout cut off.

Later that same day, an adult Malayan Sun Bear — deemed vulnerable — was killed after it was hit by a motorcycle at Km347.5 of the East Coast Expressway 2 near the Kuala Dungun interchange in Terengganu.

Source: Malay Mail

  • The most deaths involved the Malayan Tapir, a species designated as ‘endangered’, or very likely to be extinct.
  • Last year, a Malayan Tiger was hit by an MPV as it crossed the East Coast Expressway 2 at around 1 am, prompting renewed calls for motorists to slow when using highways at vulnerable areas at night.

Photos: Bernama

Malaysia: From Leopard to Sun Bears: Malaysian motorists are killing our precious fauna
By May Robertson, 28th May 2017;

Nature and animal lovers were left heartbroken on Christmas eve as two threatened animals — a Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) and a Tapir (Tapirus indicus) — were both killed following collisions with motorists.

The deaths were hardly new, nor were they isolated.

Statistics given by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and the Wildlife Department to Malay Mail recorded at least 39 roadkill deaths involving threatened species in Malaysia between January and September this year.

The most deaths involved the Malayan Tapir, a species designated as “endangered”, or very likely to be extinct.

The report also indicated that there were 221 cases of roadkill in the same period, with the most cases happening in Pahang at 24 incidents, which was eight times more than runners-up Terengganu and Johor.

Just last year, a Malayan Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) — classified “critically endangered” — was hit by an MPV as it crossed the East Coast Expressway 2 at around 1 am, prompting renewed calls for motorists to slow when using highways at vulnerable areas at night.

Things have not changed much. Malay Mail lists down several of this year’s reported cases of motorists mowing down threatened animals:

June 19: Elephant calf in Ipoh, Perak

An Elephant (Elephas maximus) calf was killed after a teacher came across a herd of Elephants at the middle of the East-West Highway around 2.30 am. Following the incident, a hoax went viral online claiming that several Elephants went on a rampage.

June 22: Black Leopard in Kuala Lipis, Pahang

A 60-kg black Leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri) was killed after it was hit by a heavy vehicle along Jalan Sungai Yu-Merapoh, Kuala Lipis. The animal was found just eight km away from the Sungai Yu Eco Viaduct wildlife route.

August 22: Tapirs in Kuantan, Pahang

Two Tapirs were critically injured after they were simultaneously hit while crossing the Kuantan-Gebeng bypass at around 10pm. The two Tapirs succumbed to their head and stomach injuries.

August 23: Elephant in Gerik, Perak

A 12-year-old bull Elephant was killed after a tour bus on the East-West Highway rammed into it at around 5.30am. The animal collapsed and got up to its feet, only later to die at the shoulder of the road some time later.

October 29: Tapir in Jeli, Kelantan

A Tapir was found dead after it was hit by a vehicle on the Jalan Jeli-Dabong near Kampung Renyuk, Jeli. The animal was killed by an injury to its neck.

December 22: Tapir in Kuala Pilah, Negri Sembilan

A car hit a Tapir dead at around 4.30 am along Jalan Seremban-Kuala Pilah.

Source: Malay Mail

Around 38 carcasses of Monkeys suspected to have been poisoned were found in an old quarry near Bukit Larut, Taiping on December 21, 2017.
Photo: Marcus Pheong

Malaysia: Troop of Monkeys fatally poisoned near Taiping
By John Bunyan, 21st December 2017;

A herd of 38 monkeys was found dead from suspected poisoning at an old quarry near Bukit Larut, Taiping this morning.

A member of Persatuan Kepolisan Komuniti Aulong Taiping Perak spotted the carcasses and reported it to the authorities today.

The monkeys were believed to be Long-tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis).

Taiping Zoo & Night Safari director Dr Kevin Lazarus said they sent veterinarians to the spot after they were informed of the discovery

“Our veterinarians rushed to spot and discovered 38 carcasses of Monkey. We believe the Monkeys were poisoned at a different place and dumped at the quarry.

"We suspected the Monkeys were poisoned as there were no external injuries on the animal.

"We have taken samples from the Monkeys and send it to the laboratory for testing,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.

He also said this was the first incident of such a scale in Taiping

Dr Kevin said they also reported the incident to the Wildlife and National Parks Department for further action.

Source: Malay Mail

The carcass of a decade-old bull Elephant named Liningkung was found with tusks intact yesterday in the protected forests of Sabah
Photos: Danau Girang Field Centre

Malaysia: Pressure mounts to arm Sabah wildlife enforcers after Elephant found shot dead
By Julia Chan, 13th December 2017;

Calls for an elite armed wildlife enforcement team to combat poaching in Sabah has gained traction with the death of another bull Borneo Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) believed to have been shot inside a protected area.

Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) director Benoit Goossens said the decomposed carcass of a 12-year-old collared Elephant named Liningkung was found in the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve, not very far from Kawag Danum Rainforest Lodge and 5km from the Sabah Forestry Department’s office in the area.

“The carcass was found yesterday by forestry officials when I alerted them about my concern of a lack of movement from the GPS tracking device.

"It died on 27 November 2017 if I trust my satellite data,” Goossens told Malay Mail when contacted.

He said that the carcass was found with tusks intact, leading them to believe that the Elephant got away from poachers.

“According to SFD officer who found the carcass, he did not see any bullet wounds on the skull. But it does not mean that the animal has not been shot. The carcass was very advanced with just the skin left. SWD is doing a post-mortem today. We have advised them to bring a metal detector to try and find any slugs left in the remains,” he said.

SFD refers to the Sabah Forestry Department while SWD refers to the Sabah Wildlife Department.

Liningkung was collared and translocated from Telupid area to Ulu Segama Forest Reserve in May 2016, following conflicts with villagers.

He was believed to have been roaming there for 18 months before being most likely shot by poachers.

This is the third Elephant found dead in the area after a special inverted-tusked Sabre (also collared by DGFC) and another bull were found shot and de-tusked last December.

Recently, SFD director Datuk Sam Mannan, who is also chief conservator of forests said there was a need to set up a special wildlife enforcement unit to go after wildlife poachers and traders.

Goossens said that the team was needed urgently now before it was too late for the remaining wildlife in Sabah, many which are facing extinction due to loss of habitat, land fragmentation and illegal hunting.

“It is absolutely vital to have a specialised team to track down these poachers or else we will lose all our charismatic species… Elephants, Bantengs (Bos javanicus), Pangolins (Manis javanica), etc,” he said.

According to Mannan, the team would be on a 24 hour surveillance, be armed and concentrate on intelligence tracking as well as prosecution of offenders.

Source: Malay Mail

Photo: Sabah Wildlife Department, via New Straits Times

Malaysia: Injured Elephant captured in Sabah oil palm plantation dies
8th December 2017;

A male Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) that was captured at an oil palm plantation in Telupid last month died at the Borneo Wildlife Sanctuary in Kinabatangan last Wednesday.

Sabah Wildlife Director Augustine Tuuga said the Elephant, estimated to be six or seven years of age, had shown signs of injury when it was captured by the Wildlife Department’s Rescue Unit.

He said the Elephant was reported to have been aggressive towards plantation workers and villagers in surrounding areas, which led to its capture on Nov 24 at Desa Plantation, and was then taken to Borneo Elephant Sanctuary.

“While undergoing medical examination and treatment, its tongue was found to have serious wound, believed to have been caused by a gunshot.

"The wound on the tongue made the Elephant unable to eat or drink,” he said in a statement here tonight.

Tuuga said a post mortem conducted on the Elephant found a bullet lodged in the injured front left leg and there were also gunshot marks on the body, but did not penetrate or caused any internal organ injury.

"Dehydration is believed to be the cause of death because the Elephant was unable to drink due to the injury on its tongue,” he said.

Tuuga said the Sabah Wildlife Department would be investigating the case as it involved the death of a totally protected species.

“While the Sabah Wildlife Department fully understand the problem faced by the people associated with Elephant in their environment, we would really appreciate cooperation from all concerned by contacting the department’s nearest office for assistance to mitigate disturbance and property loss,” he said.

Source: Malay Mail

One of the more recent cases where a female Banteng was shot by poachers in the vicinity of Maliau Basin last October 2017.
Photo: Danau Girang Field Centre

Malaysia: Plantation manager in Sabah unmasked as poacher
30th November 2017;

A senior plantation manager has been identified as a suspect behind one of three Banteng (Bos javanicus) killings last month, and of selling the meat for consumption in peninsular Malaysia.

Sabah Forestry Department director Datuk Sam Mannan said that the suspect was identified through photographs with a carcass of the wild cattle that is known locally as tembadau, an endangered and totally protected species in Sabah.

“We have identified more suspects within this industry. It cannot be anyone else, they belong to a certain ethnic group that we would not expect to be involved in this kind of hunting,” he said.

“We have focused in on one person, but this one person could lead us to so much more information. We will know soon, there will be a prosecution, he said.

Mannan said he could not reveal more as the case was still under investigation.

However, he rebuked the actions of poachers and said it was an "embarrassment” to the people with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

“We had warned them that this was happening. The people in peninsular Malaysia like beef, and there is an emerging market of exotic meat; therefore, these Banteng meat and payau (Sambar) (Rusa unicolor) or local deer, are in demand,” he said.

He was speaking at the Bornean Banteng International Workshop and Conference.

Mannan said they knew the hunters were not villagers who did so as part of their local customs, but outsiders who either killed for sport or trade. He also did not know if the guns used were licensed and registered.

Earlier, Danau Girang field centre director Benoit Goossens told the conference there were three Banteng poaching incidents in three different protected areas here — Maliau Basin, Sipitang forest reserve and Tabin Wildlife reserve — in just three days.

"They were carrying sophisticated guns and were wearing proper gear, so you know they are city people,” he said.

He said since an estimated 70 per cent of poaching went unrecorded, this meant that as many as a dozen Banteng may be killed each year.

“With only a population of fewer than 400, this (12) is a massive number. Many herds live in small pockets of isolation and they cannot afford to lose a single individual.

"At that rate of poaching, the species will not survive another 20 years and we will lose it like we lost our Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatraensis),” he said.

Source: Malay Mail

Dead fish found in the Bernam River may be the result of contamination of the water by farms, says Rusna.

Malaysia: Farms along river may be cause of fish deaths in Perak
By Loghun Kumaran, 6th April 2017;

A poultry farm in Kampung Kelawar is believed to be responsible for the large quantity of freshwater fish that has died in Bernam River since last December.

State executive councillor Datuk Rusnah Kassim said yesterday investigations into the source of the contamination led to the farm along Slim River.

However, she said, it was possible it was not the only polluter as there were other farms along the river.

“At the moment, we can only say it may have come from this farm. We are not certain yet,” the Behrang assemblyman told a press conference.

“However, based on our checks, the farm was discharging its sewage directly into the river. We have given the operator until May 31 to improve its sewage treatment system.

"If the rules are not adhered to, we won’t hesitate to shut it down or take further action.”

Rusnah said there had not been reports of residents falling sick from eating fish from the river.

The death of thousands of freshwater fish along the 30km stretch of Bernam River has left local fishermen in distress.

The chief of the Muallim District Fisheries Volunteers (SUPER) Saiful Zizuan Mahayuddin said the fishermen had reported four incidents of “mass deaths” since December.

During each of these incidents, scores of fish would swim in an erratic manner close to the surface and would end up dead the next day.

The association believed the contamination was caused by an industrial source, but was unable to pinpoint where the effluents were coming from.

Saiful said some fishermen reported their catch dropped by 70 per cent during these “mass deaths”.

“If the fish start to turn up dead today, we won’t get a good catch for about seven days. This is worrisome for the 200 inland fishermen in this area,” he said.

“It seems like an unending problem because we don’t know how long it will go on. All we know is that something is wrong.”

Saiful said the fishermen had lodged reports with the police, the Department of Environment, the Fisheries Department and the District Office.

He said there were about 70 species of freshwater fish in Bernam River, including baung (Catfish) (F. Bagridae), lampan (Tinfoil Barb) (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii), haruan (Snakehead Murrel) (Channa striata) and sebarau (Hampala Barb) (Hampala macrolepidota).

Like their colleagues around the country, inland fishermen along Bernam River rake in a fluctuating amount of money a day.

During a good month, they can catch RM 2,000 worth of fish but this number can decrease sharply.

“The fish here are highly sought after for their taste. This is because the Bernam River has largely remained unpolluted until now,” said Saiful.

“We need the authorities to act. They need to find the source of the contamination and shut it don immediately. Our livelihood is at stake.”

State Fisheries Department director Dr Bah Piyan Tan said water samples taken earlier this month found elevated levels of ammonia and acidity.

On March 27, fisheries officials found “quite acidic” pH levels of 5.8 and an ammonia content of 0.24ppm, which are above the normal levels.

On March 14, the pH level was 6.3, while the ammonia levels were down at 0.2ppm.

“These are not natural levels. Usually a river should have a neutral or slightly alkaline pH level,” said Bah Piyan.

Source: Malay Mail

Yayan Abranto, 24, a resident at the Intan Baiduri People’s Housing Project, walks past the dead fish.

Malaysia: Residents cry foul over rotting fish in lake
By Jonathan Edward and Danial Dzulkifly, 26th January 2017;

Residents at the Intan Baiduri People’s Housing Project (PPR) have been putting up with stench from thousands of rotting fish since Tuesday evening.

Tilapia (Oreochromis) used to thrive in the lake that is part of the housing scheme.

Khairul Anuwar, 50, said: “Some residents think the lake may be polluted. It could be some kind of disease, and authorities must investigate immediately.”

Khairul said he had lodged complaints with City Hall, the Drainage and Irrigation Department, and Department of Environment.

“It’s going to be two days. I hope the authorities will take action quickly as the stench is becoming worse,” he said.

Another resident, Siti Aman, 38, said the incident was worrying.

“I hope people have not dumped poison or something harmful into the lake as children from the apartments swim there,” she said.

“Also, there are many people from all over Kuala Lumpur who come here to fish.”

Mohd Kadir Bakri, 41, said it was upsetting that the authorities had not taken action.

“No one wants to go near the lake. We have been telling the children not to touch the fish as we do not know what is causing them to die,” he said.

Mohd Kadir said the authorities needed to advise the people on whether any fish caught from the lake would be safe to consume.

“They need to find out what happened,” he said.

A Kuala Lumpur City Hall Public Engineering and City Transportation Department spokesman said the constant flow of pollutants in the pond might have increased the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and killed the fish.

“The incident is also known as ‘fish kill’ and it is caused when there is a lack of dissolved oxygen in the water. We believe excess urban runoff like pet wastes from the streets, leaves, dead grass, filth and even dirt were washed into the lake by the rain,” he said.

The spokesman said City Hall would begin a clean-up of the lake within two weeks.

“Because of the rain it would not be prudent for us to clean it right away as refuse will continue to flow into the lake. However, once the weather improves, we will try to dredge the lake of waste and other contaminants.

"I hope the residents remain patient and give us time to do the job.”

Source: Malay Mail