10 Bornean elephants found dead in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur - Ten endangered Bornean elephants were found dead in eastern Malaysia within the span of one month in what authorities suspect to be cases of poisoning, a senior state wildlife official said Tuesday.
Seven males and three females were found in the forest of Tawautown in the eastern state of Sabah, 1,800 kilometres east of KualaLumpur, according to wildlife director Laurentius Ambu.
"If our investigation shows that these elephants were intentionally poisoned, we will make sure that those responsible would be brought to justice," he said by telephone.
"This is the first (known) time that elephants could have been poisoned." Laurentius said the first carcass was found on December 29, and officials have since discovered bodies of dead or dying pachyderms.
"The last dead elephant we found was two days ago," he said. "We have sent tissue samples to the veterinary department to check on what really caused the death of the elephants." The Bornean elephant, a sub-specie of Asiatic elephant, can only be found in Sabah and the nearby Indonesian province of Kalimantan.
Laurentius said there were an estimated 2,000 Bornean elephants roaming Sabah forests.//DPA