Wild elephants moved to forest reserve after wreaking havoc in village

OLIVIA MIWIL


LAHAD DATU: Two bull elephants had been moved to the Kawag Forest Reserve after they wreaked havoc at Kampung Jawa here.

Sabah Wildlife Department’s wildlife rescue unit received a report on the presence of the two elephants last week at the village located about 2km from the town.

The unit acting manager Dr Diana Ramirez said a team of officers were dispatched to the location to capture the elephants to prevent further damages.

It was reported that the elephants have been destroying and feeding on the villagers’ crop and even went near the houses.

“This is the first time wild elephants from the Danum Valley elephant population made their way so close to Lahad Datu township.

“This is probably because much of the land area between Danum Valley and Seri Perdana has been opened for human dwellings, fruit orchards and oil palm plantations,” she said in a statement.

Ramirez added that there were possibilities of more elephant encroaching into the town as many areas between the valley and town had been cleared.

The team, assisted by villagers and stakeholders, managed to capture and translocate the elephants to the forest reserve on Sunday after intensive tracking for five days.

In 2013, the unit had translocated 10 elephants from Bikang here, and in 2015, 24 elephants were also moved from Kg Sri Putatan. Both areas were located less than 10km from town.