Joint task force to protect Sabah's elephants

Elephant With Calf

The Chief Minister of Sabah has called for action to resolve the human-elephant conflict in Sabah. This year alone 30 elephants deaths have been detected so far.

There are believed to be less than 2,000 Bornean pygmy elephants left in the wild. With human population expansion and encroachment into the elephants' habitat they are coming more and more frequently into conflict with humans. They are often found on agricultural land and risk getting caught in illegal snares or shot to death.

In a joint ministerial statement the ministers said:

"We are intensifying our efforts to protect the elephants and prevent their extinction. We have discussed the need to grow sufficient food for the elephants in their habitat. For a start, we will consider planting vegetation in three areas individually before connecting the areas at a later stage of development.

"The aim is create a sustainable food chain within three 'managed elephant ranges', a new corridor of life for the elephants.

"Such a move will avert crop damage in the oil palm plantations and smallholdings.

"In the meantime, we need the cooperation of plantation owners and workers in not causing any harm to the animals but to inform the relevant authorities (Sabah Wildlife Department) in the event of any encroachment."

Minister Datuk Christina Liew announced Sabah Wildlife Department has been entrusted with the task of preparing a paper on the proposed Resolution of the Human-Elephant Conflict in Sabah. Assistant Director of SWD, Dr Sen Nathan has been asked to prepare the paper.

To read more on this story please see the following press articles:

Borneo Post Online - Government serious in tackling elephant deaths

Free Malaysia Today - Sabah sets up joint task force to protect elephant population

The Star Online - Jumbo problems for Sabah rangers