Kota Kinabalu. 07 August 2017. Sabah Wildlife Department veterinarians conducting a post-mortem on an adult female elephant, who died of multiple gunshot wounds at the Golden Apex Plantation, about 100 meters away from Malua Forest Reserve in Kinabatangan. (Photo Courtesy of Sabah Wildlife Department)

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) has shifted its investigation to crop farm workers and owners to establish if they are behind the recent killing of a female Bornean elephant in Kinabatangan plantation.

Its director Augustine Tuuga said the shooting could not have been done by poachers based on the pattern.

“The elephant was not killed for its tusk because it was a female. It is more on protecting crops in the plantation area.

“For that reason, we believe a farm owner or a worker might be the person responsible in shooting the mammal that could have trespassed into the farm,” he told reporters when met at the state legislative building, here.

Tuuga said the department’s investigation would look into the angle, adding a team of investigating officers will be inspecting the plantation area to find damaged crops.

He also noted a report was has been lodged at the Kinabatangan police headquarters and that it is a normal procedure for the department to make a police report for any wildlife case.

Meanwhile, Kinabatangan police chief Superintendent A. Sahak Rahmat confirmed to have received the report but stressed the investigation is conducted by SWD.

Yesterday, Tuuga said veterinarians found gunshot wounds on the elephant’s head, stomach and waist, with some of the buck shot and BB pellets had penetrated into the internal organs.

Based on examination, the mammal estimated to be 10 years old was believed shot a week earlier before it was discovered by a plantation worker on Aug 4 at the Golden Apex Plantation, about 100 metres away from the Malua Forest Reserve.

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