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Telupid may see an end to attacks by aggressive elephants

The Star Online logo The Star Online 22/2/2018 By Stephanie Lee
a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by The Star Online

KOTA KINABALU: Over the past month, villagers in Sabah's interior Telupid district have been terrorised by several aggressive elephants.

Not only were they faced with dangers from being attacked, their plantations were also damaged.

However, their plight might end soon with wildlife rangers capturing a female elephant on Wednesday (Feb 21).

"A few from the herd of about 20 elephants have been acting aggressively towards villagers and our rangers, especially those involved in controlling their movements," said Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga in a statement Thursday (Feb 22).

"We decided to track down the few for translocation and hope to find the remaining aggressive ones soon," he said, adding that the captured female is ready to be translocated.

He said it had been a difficult task to control and locate all the elephants, which included four babies and two bulls, as they normally travelled in several groups in search for food.

Augustine said the translocation operations by the Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) were funded by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).

Apart from the Sabah Wildlife Department, other agencies such as the Orangutan Appeal UK, Eco Health Alliance and Belia Gambaron were also involved in the operation.

This allowed the WRU team to focus on the translocation, while the rest of the support focused on elephant control to avoid further damages.

About RM10,000 has been spent the past month for the purpose.

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