KOTA KINABALU: Sabah officials are confident that they will soon find those behind the killing of a 10-year-old pygmy elephant at a plantation close to the Malua Forest Reserve in Kinabatangan district.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment assistant minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said every bullet was traceable and they hope to be able to find the person behind the killing soon.
“We do not know for sure who killed the animal but hope to find the source of the bullets found from the elephant’s body and get the culprit,” he said.
Pang said Sabah was against such killings and would do its best to solve the case.
“For now, let us leave the investigations to those involved and get all necessary and accurate information which could help solve this killing,” he added.
The female pygmy elephant was first discovered still alive by plantation workers at 7am on Aug 4, but it had died by the time wildlife officials arrived two days later.
State authorities had previously believed the elephant could have been a victim of revenge because it was destroying crops or young oil palm trees in the area.
But based on their investigations, they now believe poachers could have been the culprits, according to Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga.
“We have spoken to many plantation workers and they claim poachers were the ones to have shot it to death However, the workers were not able to give us any suspects,” he said during the Elephant Film Festival here on Saturday.
Late last year, three pygmy elephants including a rare sabre tusk jumbo were killed by poachers in the Segama area. The suspects remain unidentified.
Apart from poaching threats, human-elephant conflicts on the east coast have seen landowners killing the animals when trying to stop them from destroying their crops.