Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Davos 2015: Businesses 'cautiously optimistic' in Japan

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Twitter storm as IMF boss Christine Lagarde hails Saudi King Abdullah as 'strong advocate of women'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR CONGO: Senate amends controversial constitutional law

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Pope Family Planning: Heated Debate over Pontiff's 'Rabbit' Comments (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Saudi King Abdullah Dies: Succession, Stability and Youth in Question (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France tackles terror

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO of Schneider Electric: 'France is on a better track'

Read more

DEBATE

Davos debate: Can big business agree on climate deal? (part 2)

Read more

#THE 51%

Chile's abortion debate

Read more

Asia-pacific

Ten endangered pygmy elephants were 'poisoned'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-01-29

Ten endangered pygmy elephants were found dead this month and are thought to have been poisoned, Malaysian officials said Tuesday. Wildlife authorities have formed a task force with police and wildlife activists to investigate the deaths.

Ten endangered pygmy elephants found dead this month are thought to have been poisoned, Malaysian officials said Tuesday as they released poignant photos of a calf nuzzling the body of its mother.

Wildlife authorities in Sabah, a state on the east of Borneo island, have formed a taskforce together with the police and WWF to investigate the deaths.

Laurentius Ambu, Sabah wildlife department director, said it received a report last Wednesday of four dead pygmy elephants in the Gunung Rara forest reserve.

But officials were "shocked" to find another four of the animals, a rare sub-species of the Asian elephant, dead or dying after inspecting the area for two days, he said.

"Early this year, two highly decomposed elephant carcasses were found in the general vicinity of where these eight animals were found. We believe that all the deaths of these elephants are related," he said in a statement.

Sen Nathan, the department's senior veterinarian, said in the statement "we highly suspect" the animals died due to poisoning after finding severe ulceration and bleeding in their digestive tracts.

"It was actually a very sad sight to see all those dead elephants, especially one of the dead females who had a very young calf of about three months old. The calf was trying to wake the dead mother up," he said.

Masidi Manjun, the state's environment minister, vowed to take tough action if the animals were found to have been deliberately poisoned.

"If indeed these poor elephants were maliciously poisoned I would personally make sure that the culprits would be brought to justice and pay for their crime," he said in the statement.

There are fewer than 2,000 Borneo pygmy elephants, which are smaller and have more rounded features compared to normal Asian elephants, left in the wild, according to authorities.

Activists warn that pygmy elephants are fast losing their natural habitat to deforestation and human encroachment on Borneo, a vast island shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-01-29

  • Wildlife

    Highly endangered Sumatran rhino in rare captivity birth

    Read more

  • WILDLIFE

    Nations gather for 'last chance' tiger summit

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Wolf-hunting permit issued after sheep massacre

    Read more

COMMENT(S)