The injured Elephant at the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary where it was being treated before it died on Wednesday.

Malaysia: Captured Elephant at Telupid died from dehydration due to tongue wound
By Augustine Tuuga, 9th December 2017;

A male Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) aged 6-7 years died while undergoing treatment at the Borneo Wildlife Sanctuary, Kinabatangan on the morning of December 6, 2017.

The Elephant was captured in Desa Plantation, Ladang Pertama on November 24, 2017 by the Wildlife Department’s Rescue Unit for relocation and treatment because it showed signs of injury on its left front leg and was aggressive towards estate workers and villagers.

Reports of its appearance at Desa Plantation first surfaced on November 5, 2017. Wildlife personnel were sent to manage the situation because it was reported that the Elephant was charging estate workers that came across its paths.

The same Elephant was also reported to have caused panic among people in the nearby villages and estates in Telupid for its aggressive behaviour by charging people it encountered along its path.

After tracking the Elephant for some time, wildlife personnel finally encountered it at Desa Plantation on November 24, 2017, where it was successfully captured.

The Elephant was then taken to Borneo Elephant Sanctuary for treatment.

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

The wound on the tongue caused the Elephant to be unable to eat or drink.

The Elephant was found dead on the morning of December 6, 2017 despite efforts by veterinary officers to treat the wounds.

A post mortem to determine the cause of death was conducted on the same day.

During the post mortem procedure, a slug bullet was found lodged in the injured front left leg. There were also signs of other gunshots on the body, but they did not penetrate or cause any internal organ injury.

The cause of death is believed to be due to dehydration because the Elephant was unable to drink due to the injury to its tongue.

While the Wildlife Department fully understand the problem faced by the people associated with Elephant in their environment, it really appreciates cooperation from all concerned by contacting its nearest office for assistance to mitigate disturbance and property loss.

The Wildlife Department meanwhile investigates the case as it involved the death of a totally protected species.

Source: BorneoToday

The male Bornean Pygmy Elephant died while undergoing treatment.
Photo: Sabah Wildlife Department

Malaysia: Bornean Pygmy Elephant dies while undergoing treatment at Sabah sanctuary
By Avila Geraldine, 8th December 2017;

A male Bornean Pygmy Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) died while undergoing treatment at the Borneo Wildlife Sanctuary in Kinabatangan, two days ago.

The Elephant, aged between six and seven, was found dead in the morning by veterinary officers of the Sabah Wildlife Department.

Department director Augustine Tuuga, in a statement, said a post-mortem examination was conducted on the same day to establish the cause of death.

“During the examination, a bullet slug was found lodged in its injured front left leg.

"There were also sign of gunshots on the body but they did not penetrate or cause any internal organ injury.

"The cause of death is believed to be due to dehydration as the Elephant was unable to drink due to an injury on its tongue,” he said.

The department’s rescue unit had on Nov 24 captured the Elephant, which is listed as a totally protected species, in Desa Plantation, Ladang Pertama for relocation and treatment.

It showed sign of injury on its left front leg and was aggressive towards estate workers and villagers.

Its appearance at Desa Plantation was first reported on Nov 5.

Tuuga said wildlife personnel were sent to manage the situation because the Elephant was reportedly charging estate workers who came across its path.

The same Elephant was also reported to have caused panic among nearby villages and estates in Telupid for its aggressive behaviour.

“After tracking the Elephant for sometime, wildlife personnel finally encountered the Elephant at Desa Plantation Nov 24 and successfully captured it.

"The Elephant was then taken to the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary for treatment.

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

"The wound on the tongue left the Elephant unable to eat or drink,” explained Tuuga.

While the department fully understood the problem faced by residents who encounter the Elephant, Tuuga called on people to alert the authorities.

“We will investigate the case further as it involves the death of a totally-protected species,” he said.

This is the second incident involving the death of Bornean Pygmy Elephants this week.

On Tuesday, a bull Elephant was found dead with three gunshot wounds, within the Cenderamata Plantation Estate in Tawau. Its tusks were intact.

Last month, another male Elephant with its tusks intact was also shot dead within the same plantation.

Source: New Straits Times

Photo: Sabah Wildlife Department, via New Straits Times

Malaysia: Borneo Pygmy Elephant dies due to dehydration after being shot
8th December 2017;

An endangered Borneo Pygmy Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) has died from dehydration triggered by gunshot wounds.

Veterinarians and wildlife rangers could only watch helplessly as the gentle jumbo died due to injuries on his tongue and mouth.

“It could not eat or drink as we tried to provide treatment at the Borneo Wildlife Sanctuary,” said Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga in a statement late Friday (Dec 8).

He said the seven-year-old bull Elephant died on Dec 6, more than a week after it was rescued from the Desa Plantation near Telupid, some 210km from here.

Tuuga said they had received reports from villagers and estate workers about an injured Elephant that was running amok.

He said villagers said the Elephant was charging at people that were in its path.

“It was then captured on Nov 24 for relocation,” he said.

Tuuga said the Elephant was then taken to the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary for treatment.

While undergoing medical examination and treatment, its tongue was found to have serious wounds, believed to have been caused by gunshots.

“We are not sure whether this Elephant was shot by poachers or villagers,” Tuuga said.

A post-mortem found a bullet lodged in the Elephant’s front left leg, as well as other signs of gunshots on the body.

“However, the wounds on the body were only external,” Tuuga said.

He urged villagers and estate owners as well as workers to inform wildlife rangers if they come across Elephants on their land instead of handling the matter on their own.

Source: The Star

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

This bull Elephant was found wounded at an estate in Telupid last week. Despite efforts to save it, the pachyderm succumbed to its gunshot wounds. – Photos were posted on Facebook, which have since been taken down by the account holder.

Malaysia: Wounded Bornean Elephant dies after being shot in Telupid
7th December 2017;

Yet another of Sabah’s famed but dwindling numbers of the Bornean Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) has been killed.

The 10-year-old bull Elephant is believed to have succumbed to its injuries on Wednesday despite the valiant efforts by the Sabah Wildlife Department to save it, a week after it was shot by unidentified persons in Telupid.

However, officials were tight-lipped when asked to comment, and neither did Augustine Tuuga, the SWD director respond to a query by BorneoToday early Thursday afternoon.

This is the eighth reported death of the ‘totally protected’ Bornean Elephant in Sabah within the last 14 months.

Workers at Ladang Duta in Telupid had earlier reported to the SWD of the presence of a ‘sick Elephant’ at the vicinity of their estate, and a team was despatched further investigate

It is believed that the Elephant was probably hunted by poachers and shot at least three times, but managed to escape its attackers and fled to the plantation in the area.

The incident was believed to have taken place some seven to 10 days ago.

Plantation workers who witnessed the rescue operations told BorneoToday they were informed that the wounded jumbo was being taken to the Borneo Elephant Sanctuary at Bilit for further treatment.

BorneoToday was made to understand that the cause of death of the elephant was severe complication from the gunshot wounds in its mouth that prevented the Elephant from eating anything.

A Facebook user had uploaded photos of the rescue mission – name withheld by BorneoToday – as he had since deleted the photos from his account in the last 12 hours.

The last known death of a Bornean Elephant was around last November 14 when a bull Elephant was found shot dead by suspected poachers at an oil palm estate, about 30 kilometres from Tawau, along Jalan Merotai–Kalabakan.

Source: BorneoToday

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: VIPs, managers among poachers
By Kan Yaw Chong, 1st December 2017;

The future of Sabah’s Banteng (Bos javanicus) or wild cattle has reached a “critical” situation, says Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) Deputy Director Peter Malin.

“Given an average of four gunned down per month in the State by poachers and Sabah has only an estimated 316 Banteng left, the only fitting words to describe it is we have a critical situation,” he said.

He was speaking at the two-day Bornean Banteng International Workshop and Conference here Thursday, representing SWD Director Augustine Tuuga, where all speakers from across Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Sabah reported a decline of the Banteng populations.

“Sabah is left with no other choice but do something to control and reduce the killings or else the fate of our Banteng will be heading towards the same as our Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatraensis),” said Indra Sunjoto, Deputy Director of the Sabah Forest Department, who spoke on “Challenges of managing Banteng in commercial forests in Sabah.”

All speakers, from Dr Benoit Goossens, Director of Danau Girang Field Centre, to Iman Sapari of Kalimantan, Naris Bhumpakphan of Thailand, Prum Sovana of Cambodia and veteran researcher Ramesh Boonratana, cited poaching as the main culprit behind the decline.

In the course of his research dating back to the past, Boonratana said he found VIPs were among the pack of hunters who were contributing to its possible extinction.

“This fact is hard to take because they are supposed to set an example,” Boonratana noted.

At a press conference, Guest of Honour and Chief Conservator of Forests Datuk Sam Mannan, who launched the workshop earlier, said among the poachers were “people of high ranking in the oil palm industry and managers of plantations.”

“It couldn’t have been anybody else because they have their typical planters’ uniforms – shorts and high socks,” he told reporters.

“You see how difficult and how hard it is, and how embarrassing it is like RSPO,” he added.

“We wrote to RSPO and advised them: You warn your people who are certified and people who are with you that this is happening,” said Mannan, who noted the deteriorating poaching menace even within protected forests has forced the Forestry Department to take a direct role in prosecuting poachers caught in the act in a twin approach with the Wildlife Department to catch and put illegal hunters behind bars.

“We will start first where it will make a difference,” Mannan said

Asked what that meant, he said: “We will go where it all started first – Lahad Datu, Tabin, some parts of Kalabakan, south of Maliau, then the highway in Sapulut down to Tawau, especially the point where you enter Maliau Basin and then smaller cases in the northern area usually done by kampung people and Sipitang, etc.”

On what will make the difference this time around, Mannan said the authorities have mooted the idea of a specialised team of rangers to look solely into wildlife protection aspects, including data and intelligence collection and surveillance analysing and prosecution.

“They will be armed and work on shifts. They don’t do anything but 24-hour surveillance. We will give them guns.

It’s not necessarily to shoot people, more for warnings, but if things get heated, they have to be able to protect themselves,” he said.

“In the past, the same people looked after illegal felling, do forest restoration, do anti-poaching and so on, they were not focused. It doesn’t work but now they are focused, say five people in one vehicle and they do nothing else except go after poachers,” he added.

Mannan said the idea is still at the proposed stage, but added that the elite rangers would be under the Wildlife Enforcement Unit if accepted.

“A better effect sought would be deterrence,” said Boonratana.

Dr Goossens said plans are afoot to vastly improve surveillance, detective, software and hardware to analyse camera trap pictures and information gathered which will be able to pinpoint the whereabouts accurately and send enforcement teams to go to places that are very likely to catch the poachers.

“There is now that willingness to do what it takes such as increase the protection with 50 more forestry rangers who are mobile and focused only on wildlife,” noted Dr Goossens.

“It is very critical that we have a surveillance intelligence gathering, we will provide the training because information gathered need to be analysed so that enforcement teams will be able to go to places that are very likely will catch the poachers. Otherwise, we are sending rangers running around wasting time for nothing,” Goossens said.

Goossens said he agreed urgent work must begin now to avert another disaster like what befell Sabah’s Sumatran Rhino.

“Basically we have increased some of the populations like those in Sipitang, Sugut, etc, which don’t have enough numbers to survive the long term and even if there is no poaching, they go down.

So we need to supplement those populations and a captive breeding programme would be a solution to provide those animals,” Goossens told the media.

“We don’t want to end up with a situation like that of the Rhino where in 20 years we realise we have only 10 individuals left and only then suddenly do a captive program too late,” he explained.

“So with the Banteng, we want to start now and that’s going to be something we want to discuss in the workshop Friday (Nov 31) exactly what is the best way to do it and then together with the support of the Forestry Department, start a programme as soon as possible.”

Source: Daily Express

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: Investigation ongoing into last week’s slaughter of Bornean Banteng
By Olivia Miwil, 1st December 2017;

The Sabah Wildlife Department has carried out an investigation into the shocking killing last week of three endangered Bornean Banteng (Bos javanicus.

Its director Augustine Tuuga said the investigation team went to the ground to collect evidence on the case.

On Thursday, the Sabah Forestry Department disclosed that a plantation manager may be the culprit behind the poaching of one of the animals in October.

The manager was identified in a seized photograph in which he is seen posing with a Banteng carcass.

The three killings occurred in the Maliau basin, Sipitang and the Tabin conservation and forest reserve areas.

“The Maliau basin is a restricted area and not anyone can go there.

"It could (also) be that some villagers had gone into the forest… but there is no evidence of poaching or meat when we conducted checks at their houses,” he said when contacted.

So far this year, four Banteng have been killed. It is estimated that around 12 Banteng are slaughtered every year.

To date, no Banteng poacher has been prosecuted due to lack of evidence, Augustine said.

The Banteng is a “totally protected species” and there are fewer than 400 left in Sabah.

Source: New Straits Times