Death of protected elephant appals WWF-Malaysia

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KOTA KINABALU: WWF-Malaysia is appalled by the latest death of an elephant in Sabah as reported in the newspaper on Nov 16.

In their press statement yesterday WWF-Malaysia said that the gruesome death of a male elephant at Ladang Cenderamata of Sabah Softwoods Berhad in Tawau is both shocking and infuriating, as this is the seventh reported death of the Totally Protected species within the last 14 months.

“It’s as if its legal status is merely an accessory and not to be taken seriously. It goes without saying that a crime this severe demands a thorough investigation and the arrest of the culprits involved so that they can be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” added the statement.

WWF-Malaysia commends the plantation for reporting the death immediately to the authorities.

“However, it is high time for plantations where Sabah’s elephants roam to be more vigilant in preventing such deaths. Whether they are killed by poachers, or victims of a heated confrontation with humans, the fact remains the same: our elephants are being murdered almost every month since October 2016.

“For an endangered species that only numbers less than 2,000 as estimated back in 2010 and is mostly found in Sabah, this crime is beyond worrying.

“This elephant murder is a crime against Malaysians as Borneo elephants are our green heritage and should be protected.

“If we choose to remain silent, it sends a strong signal to the elephant killers that we are supporting the cold-blooded murder of elephants,” the statement said.