A young elephant was found shot dead at Kampung Karamuak, Tongod in Kinabatangan, yesterday. Pix courtesy of Sabah Wildlife Department

SANDAKAN: A young elephant was found shot dead at Kampung Karamuak, Tongod in Kinabatangan, yesterday.

The discovery brings to three the number of pachyderms found dead in the state in the span of just eight days.

The latest carcass was found by the roadside by a team of rangers from the Kinabatangan wildlife office, while they were returning from elephant control work at Kampung Karamuak at 7.40am.

The male juvenile elephant was estimated to have been between three and four years old.

A team from the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) was dispatched to the scene to investigate and carry out a post-mortem, its Public Relations officer Siti Nur’Ain Ampuan Acheh said in a statement.

A wound on the pachyderm’s right rump led to the discovery of a bullet lodged in its abdomen, she said, adding that parts of the intestines were torn.

"From the location of the injury and the trajectory of the (bullet), it is highly probable that the elephant was shot at close range, from an elevated place or from the back of a vehicle," she added.

Siti Nur’Ain said the department will continue to probe the case and find those involved in the killing.

On July 19, a male elephant was found dead near an abandoned logging camp in Kuamut Forest Reserve in Kinabatangan, after succumbing to injuries suffered in a fight with a larger elephant.

On July 16, another male elephant with a badly wounded foot was found dead in an oil palm plantation at Ulu Segama in Lahad Datu, believed to have been the victim of a snare trap.

Elephants in Sabah are a Totally Protected species under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997. – Bernama