Published: Friday February 1, 2013 MYT 3:37:00 PM
Rangers trying to identify chemical used in killing of pygmy elephants
By MUGUNTAN VANAR
KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife rangers are certain the 14 Borneo pygmy elephants which died in recent days were poisoned.
Now, it is just a matter of identifying the type of chemical that killed the elephants which belonged to a single herd.
"I am toying with the idea that some chemical was used in an organised manner to control the elephants that could have intruded into certain areas because too many of them died.
"If it was accidental, it would not have been so many deaths," Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu said adding that elephants by instinct know what they should eat.
The rangers continue to cover the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve looking for signs of possible use of chemical substances within a 10 sq km area.
Dr Ambu said satellites through the GPS system are being used to locate the surviving members of the herd in the area known as Forest Management Unit 23 (FMU 23) about 130kms from Tawau.
Logging, oil palm plantation and industrial tree plantation are among activities carried out by various subsidiary and joint venture companies of Yayasan Sabah in the area tucked between Maliau Basin and Danum Valley.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said police were conducting their own investigations to identify suspects.
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