Jumbos moved to safer area after fatal attack on woman (Malaysia)
Muguntan Vanar, The Star
September 25, 2022
KOTA KINABALU: A herd of about 40 to 50 Borneo pygmy elephants is being
guided to a safer area following an attack that killed a pillion rider on
Friday at an oil palm estate in Tawau.
Based on investigations by the Wildlife Department, the herd was possibly
looking for food at the plantation, said state Tourism, Culture and
Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin.
“The rangers in tracking operations found that the elephant was part of a
herd with calves (with one named Caly that was fitted with a satellite
collar this year).
“Following their observation, the rangers noted that one of them was very
aggressive,” he said, and added that the rangers were continuing in their
efforts to guide the elephants to a safer area.
At around 7.30am on Friday, Syamsiah Arsyad, 67, and her husband Tahir
Saleh, 63, were on a motorcycle riding past Dumpas Estate when an adult
elephant suddenly charged at them.
Syamsiah, an Indonesian, died on the spot after the elephant swung its
trunk at them before trampling on her.
Her husband managed to escape unhurt in the Dumpas Estate area, which is an
elephant movement corridor.
Jafry said that the estate management would put more warning signages to
inform the public of the elephant corridor to ensure that people entering
the area remain cautious.
“All the estate supervisors will be provided with whistles to alert people
of the presence of elephants and inform their security department,” he said.
Jafry added that as Dumpas Estate was a corridor for the animals, napier
grass had been planted for them to graze on as part of efforts to reduce
human-animal conflict and to prevent the destruction of crops.
Electric fences have also been set up along the corridor through
initiatives funded by the Malaysian Palm Oil Green Conservation Foundation.
Sabah Softwoods, which over- sees Dumpas Estate, and WWF Malaysia have a
working relationship on setting up a wildlife corridor to protect elephants
in the area.