Saturday June 9, 2012
Teen survives jumbo attack
By DESIREE TRESA GASPER
JOHOR BARU: Zubedah Ayong considers herself lucky to be alive after her harrowing experience of being attacked by a herd of elephants near her village in Taman Negara in Mersing.
The orang asli teenager said she could still hear the deafening trumpets of the angry elephants even when she closes her eyes.
Speaking from her hospital bed in Sultan Ismail Hospital here yesterday, Zubedah, 19, who suffered a broken shoulder and injured her buttocks, said she is having nightmares about the attack.
Zubedah was attacked by the elephants while gathering vegetables near her village with her sisters Roslina, 28, and Rashidah, 30, at about 6.30pm on Thursday.
“We have seen herds of elephants near our village before. Although I am afraid of them, they usually never attack.
“This time, however, was different because we stumbled on a herd of about 30 elephants.
“Our presence seemed to have angered them and soon, they started charging at us,” she added.
Her sisters managed to outrun the herd, but Zabedah tripped and fell.
“When I tried to get up, one of the elephants swung its trunk at me and it hit my back. I fell on my face and broke my shoulder,” she said.
Zabedah said she was saved by villagers who quickly came to her rescue and rushed her to the Mersing Hospital for treatment.
“I am lucky to be alive and I will be more careful in future,” she said.
“The elephants are usually tame but they have been acting up the last couple of days,” he said, adding that some of the elephants had also charged at department officials and their vehicles several days ago.
Suhairi said the change in behavioural patterns could be due to the presence of baby elephants in the herd or due to the mating season which has just begun.
“We have also informed the Department of Wildlife and National Parks to investigate the matter and warned orang asli in the area to be careful,” he said.
Mersing deputy OCPD Asst Supt Mohamad Toff Maaroff confirmed the incident.