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Elephant herd tramples car after it hits calf along a highway in Malaysia

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A herd of wild elephants trampled a car after it struck a baby elephant along a major highway in Malaysia.

What happened: According to local authorities, the incident occurred on the East-West Highway as a family of three was driving from Penang to Terengganu at about 7:35 p.m. local time on Nov. 26. The car, a white Perodua Axia, was being driven by a 48-year-old man when it collided with the elephant calf during drizzling and foggy conditions.

“The family, from Penang, were on their way to Jertih, Terengganu... Before the Titiwangsa rest and restoration stop, the car slammed into the young elephant that was walking on the road with the herd,” said Gerik Police Superintendent Zulkifli Mahmood, according to The Straits Times.

Shortly after the incident, five elephants reportedly rushed to trample the vehicle. The herd only left the area “after the calf got back up,” Mahmood noted.

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No injuries: Although it is unclear whether the family had been inside the car during the incident, there were no reported deaths or serious injuries. Mahmood confirmed that the driver and the other two passengers, who were aged 23 and 47, were not injured. However, authorities have not offered additional updates regarding the condition of the calf involved in the collision.

According to CNN, photos of the vehicle reveal significant damage to its front and sides, including caved-in side doors and smashed windows.

Police’s caution: Malaysia's highway development has reportedly led to increased encounters between elephants and vehicles, prompting warnings for drivers to exercise caution.

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“We want to advise road users on the highway to be extra careful when in the area, as there is a herd of elephants there,” Mahmood said.

Although warning signs have been put up about elephant crossings along many highways, accidents continue to occur in Malaysia. In 2020, a distressed elephant also trampled on a car on the same highway. According to local authorities, the adult elephant likely panicked after several vehicles started honking at it.

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