Elephant believed poisoned to death
LAHAD DATU: An adult female elephant whose carcass was found at Bagahak 1 plantation here on Wednesday was believed to have died of acute poisoning.
Lahad Datu Wildlife Department officer Sylvester Saimin said a veterinary team from the Sabah Wildlife Department and Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC) led by Dr Nabila Sarkawi (SORC) conducted a post-mortem on the carcass at about 2.30 pm on Thursday and took some samples for the Chemistry Department.
“The elephant, estimated to be between 30 to 35 years old, is believed to have been dead more than 72 hours before it was discovered at about 10 a.m. by the plantation management.
“The cause of death in this case is suspected to be acute poisoning as the liver is enlarged (hepatomegaly) and based on classical signs of poisoning (with) blood coming out from the orifices,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Sylvester said when the carcass was found, there were no external injuries which could be seen and blood was coming out from the rectum, mouth and ear.
He added further investigations will determine the source of poisoning.
On Thursday, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said with the latest case in Bagahak 1 Plantation, there have been five elephant deaths in Sabah for the first two months of 2020.
Early this month, the remains of two adult female elephants were found in Ladang Sentosa Sukau and Ladang Tongkulap bordering Dermakot in Sandakan.
In January, the carcass of an elephant was found buried in Lower Kinabatangan.
Last year, the Wildlife Department recorded 25 cases of elephant deaths, some killed by poachers while a few were found to have been poisoned.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal said the Tiger Platoon from the General Operations Force would continue to be deployed this year to protect the wildlife in Sabah.
He said the State Government took the death of elephants seriously to the extent that the armed forces, namely the Tiger Platoon, was deployed last year.
The carcass of adult female elephants which was found dead in Bagahak 1 plantation on Wednesday.