Pygmy elephants are an endangered species found only in Borneo. There are only less than 1,500 pygmy elephants left alive so whenever news breaks that another of them has died, everyone is saddened and angered.
A pygmy elephant was found dead floating in a Tawau, Sabah river on Friday (27 Sept) evening. It had a rope tied around its neck that was attached to a nearby tree.
It appeared that the elephant was ten years old and a male, according to officials, and it had wounds that suggested it had been shot numerous times.
Even sadder, the elephant was likely dead for over three days when it was discovered drifting. Official untied and placed in on a seating position on the river bank after it was found.
The elephant’s body is currently undergoing a post-mortem, and officials cannot confirm if its tusks have been removed or not.
Pygmy elephants in Borneo are frequent victims of poaching as their tasks are highly valuable in the black market. More often than not, they are also murdered because they tend to enter palm oil plantations and might damage property.
In June, three pygmy elephants were found dead due to poisoning, allegedly by palm oil plantation workers. In 2018, six of them suffered a similar fate in a nearby plantation.
In the past decade, over 100 pygmy elephants were deliberately killed either by poisoning or gunshot, and these numbers are only expected to rise unless authorities take action.
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