PYGMY ELEPHANT WAS SHOT 70 TIMES AT CLOSE RANGE
NEWS ON WILDLIFE CRUELTY IN SABAH, MALAYSIA
Post-mortem finds pygmy elephant was shot 70 times at close range, tusks removed
A pygmy elephant that was found killed along Sungai Udin, Tawau on Wednesday 25 September 2019 was shot more than 70 times at close range before it had its two tusks removed, The Star Online reported in Kota Kinabalu today, Sunday 29 September 2019.
This was concluded after a team of vets and wildlife officials conducted a post-mortem on the elephant, according to a source from the Sabah Wildlife Department.
The source said that at least four or five poachers were involved in the killing of the adult male elephant, which was initially thought to be a juvenile female.
The source said that the confusion could have been due to the state the elephant was seen in the photos that were first circulated on social media on 25 September 2019.
It was found tied by the riverbank and more than half of the animal's body was submerged in the water," said the source.
The source also said that based on wounds and bullets found from all parts of the elephant's body, the poachers were believed to have fired at the mammal using semi-automatic guns from a close range.
"It is not sure whether the elephant had suffered greatly before dying but one bullet was found right through the left temple.
"The shot had fractured and penetrated the skull and decimated the brain, meaning death would have been instantaneous after this shot was fired, said the source today, Sunday 29 September 2019.
Sabah Wildlife Department Director Augustine Tuuga, confirmed that the post-mortem had been completed and that the nature of the elephant's death was cruel.
He, however, did not elaborate on theìr findings.
Dr Sen Nathan, who was part of the post-mortem team, thanked Sabah Softwood Berhad for their assistance.
Sabah Softwood Berhad provided heavy machinery needed to drag the elephant carcass from the river and also prepared a boat during the search for the elephant earlier.
Pygmy elephants are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 and anyone found guilty of killing them could be jailed up to 5 years and slapped with a fine of RM250,000.
by Fauzi Kadir ° Permadu Malaysia
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