Monday, June 17

Sanctuary for displaced elephants, other wildlife soon

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KOTA INABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) is in the process of establishing a Borneo Pygmy Elephant Sanctuary at Lot 8, Kinabatangan.

Sabah Wildlife director Dr Laurentius Ambu told press members yesterday after the opening of the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Colloqium 2012 that the 2,000-hectare sanctuary would be used to house displaced elephants and other wildlife.

The sanctuary has received an initial funding of RM5 million from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) and RM1.5 million from a Japanese non-governmental organisation.

He said that the establishment of the sanctuary is crucial as 60 per cent of elephants in Sabah are located outside of protected areas and presently, some 60 to 100 elephants are waiting to be rescued at the Kalabakan and Tingkayu areas.

He added that the sanctuary will begin operation sometime this year.

Meanwhile, Laurentius also said that the lone bull that gored an Australian tourist to death last month had not been located.

He said that a team had been despatched to find the bull but the search had been futile.

He attributed the failure to Tabin’s huge size – 120,000 ha in all and the ability of the elephant to travel up to 50 square kilometers per day.