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

  1. Police responding to the scene where a motorcycle failed to swerve in time and crashed into a Sun Bear on the East Coast Expressway 2.
  2. A group of men skinning and disfiguring a Tapir that was killed in a car accident the night before in Gua Musang (Dec 24).
  3. Photos: Malaysian Response Team and Ediey King, via The Star

    Malaysia: Spate of rare animal deaths in Malaysia sparks alarm
    28th December 2017;

    The deaths of two Sun Bears (Helarctos malayanus) and a Tapir (Tapirus indicus) in Malaysia sparked fresh alarm among activists Thursday at the growing number of exotic animals perishing in the biodiverse country.

    A Sun Bear and Tapir were killed in road accidents in the northeast of the country on Christmas Eve, with the Tapir skinned by villagers after its carcass was discovered, environmental group WWF said.

    A second Sun Bear was killed and cut up, with its parts spotted on the same day sold openly at a market in Sarawak state on Borneo island, local media reported.

    “Despite all efforts from various organisations and government bodies, yet again, we as a nation, have failed to stand up for our Malaysian wildlife,” said Dionysius Sharma, WWF-Malaysia executive director.

    “If we do not take drastic measures to protect our wildlife now, we may lose them to extinction in the near future.”

    Tropical, jungle-clad Malaysia is home to a dizzying array of wildlife, from Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) to Pangolins (Manis javanica), 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 (Elephas maximus) were killed in the space of three months earlier this year after being hit by vehicles on the same stretch of highway in northern Malaysia.

    Sun Bears are the smallest of the bear species, and are classified as vulnerable by protection group the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

    Tapirs are known for their long, drooping noses which they use to forage for leaves, with the variety in Malaysia listed as endangered.

    Source: AFP, via Yahoo! News

  • 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

Photos: Detik.com, Tribunnews.com, Aceh Portal [1], [2], Forest Nature and Environment Aceh Facebook and Waspada Online

Indonesia: Pregnant Elephant ‘poisoned’ in Indonesian palm plantation
27th December 2017;

A pregnant Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) has been found dead in a palm oil plantation on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, in what authorities suspect was a deliberate poisoning, an official said Wednesday.

The animal’s body was found near the remote Seuneubok Bayu village in Aceh on December 22, after authorities received a tip off from locals, Aceh conservation centre head Sapto Aji Prabowo told AFP.

“The 25-year-old Elephant had been dead for around 10 days when we got there,” he said.

"From the autopsy, we saw that its digestive organs turned black which the doctor said was a general indication of poisoning.”

The Sumatran Elephant was carrying 13-month old male foetus and was at least six months short of giving birth.

Locals have told authorities that several days before the carcass was discovered farmers had complained an Elephant ate their fertilizer.

Sumatran Elephant are critically endangered and a protected species, but rampant deforestation for plantations has reduced their natural habitat and brought them into conflict with humans.

At least 11 wild Elephants died in Aceh this year, most of them killed by humans, according to Prabowo.

In January, authorities found a dead Elephant without tusks in Aceh, along with its abandoned 11-month-old calf.

Source: AFP, via Jakarta Post

Thailand: Elephant found dead in Phu Luang wildlife sanctuary
22nd December 2017;

A male Elephant (Elephas maximus), believed to be from the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary in Loei’s Phu Rua district, was found lying dead at a plantation near Ban Naluang village in Wang Saphung district on Friday morning (Dec 22).

Surapol Prasomsap, chief of the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary, said he went to the village on Friday morning after being informed of the dead Elephant by villagers from Ban Naluang.

The villagers said they heard a loud noise of seven to eight Elephants fighting in the night but did not dare to leave their houses to take a look.

Mr Surapol said the Elephant was male, 21-22 years old, weighing about three tonnes. There were 12 deep round wounds on the Elephant’s body, which looked like it had been gored with tusks by other Elephants.

The Elephant was believed to have died at least six hours previously.

Wildlife officials believed they were wild Elephants that strayed out of the sanctuary to forage for food and had a fight with one another.

Source: Thai PBS

Thailand: Bull Elephant found gored to death in Loei
22nd December 2017;

A wild bull Elephant (Elephas maximus) was found gored to death near a plantation of villagers in the Wang Saprung district Loei province on Friday morning, officials said.

Sub-Lieutenant Surapol Prasomsup, chief of the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary, led officials to check a creek near a plantation in Ban Na Luang village in Wang Saprung at 9 am on Friday after villagers informed his office they had heard sounds of male Elephant fighting on Thursday night.

The officials found the body of an Elephant, which appeared to be around 21 to 22 years old, lying near the creek. It had suffered 12 wounds inflicted by Elephant tusks. Each wound was about 39-cm deep.

A veterinarian on the team, Kanayos Kri-una, said the Elephant died about six hours ago.

The officials took sample from its trunk, tongue and tail hair for DNA checking and buried the carcass.

Source: The Nation

Terrible find: A Sabah Ranger standing beside the decomposed carcass of Liningkung at the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve on Sabah’s east coast
Photo:

Malaysia: Yet another endangered Borneo pygmy jumbo found dead in Sabah
14th December 2017;

Another critically endangered Borneo Pygmy Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) has been found dead even as conservationists call for informants and professional investigators to be engaged to stop the killing.

The Elephant, the ninth slain in the last 14 months, was a healthy 12-year-old bull named Liningkung, that was fitted with a satellite collar 18 months ago.

It was found in the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve on Sabah’s east coast on Tuesday.

Rangers discovered its decomposed carcass with the tusks untouched.

“I believe it was shot by poachers but escaped before eventually dying from its wounds,” Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) director Benoit Goossens said.

Liningkung’s movements were being monitored by DGFC on a weekly basis, Goossens said, and they alerted Sabah Forestry officials on Dec 11 to say that it had not moved since Dec 3.

A team is in the area to carry out a post-mortem.

"It is another sad day for Elephant conservation. If this goes on, we might be staring at its extinction,” Goossens said.

There are only about 1,500 Elephants left in Sabah’s forests.

This is the third elephant found dead in the same area in the past year.

Goossens said it is vital for a special wildlife enforcement unit to be set up to go after wildlife poachers and traders as suggested by chief conservator of forests Datuk Sam Mannan.

Meanwhile, Marc Acrenaz, scientific director for Sabah-based wildlife research and conservation NGO Hutan, said informers and professional investigators are needed to stop the killing.

“Many years ago, locals killed these animals for food and it was not too serious.

"Now, we see that things have changed and people are poaching for the international trade or killing them because of animal-human conflicts,” he said.

No suspects have been identified in many of these cases, including a recent incident where a bull Elephant was shot in the mouth and died of dehydration because it could not eat or drink.

“The authorities lack people on the ground,” Acrenaz said.

“We need a strong team which can identify the culprits and bring them to justice,” he said, adding that the killings might stop then.

For now, Acrenaz said, there are not enough rangers to cover all the places where animals – especially endangered species like the Pygmy Elephants, Orang Utan (Pongo pygmaeus) and Pangolins (Manis javaica) – roam.

He said the three main reasons for poaching and killing were conflicts between landowners and animals (especially Elephants), poaching of bush meat because of demand by tourists, and the international underground trade in exotic meat and animal parts like ivory and Pangolin scales.

Source: The Star