Endangered Pygmy Elephant Found Dead, Shot 70 Times

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Endangered Pygmy Elephant Found Dead, Shot 70 Times

 

For many years, Asian elephants have been targeted for their tusks. Thus, their numbers in the wild continue to decrease. Tragically, at least 100 pygmy elephants, who are part of an endangered species, have died in the last 10 years. Many of them were purposefully killed by poison or gunfire. As of now, there are fewer than 1,500 Borneo pygmy elephants in the wild. However, this hasn't stopped poachers and hunters from targetting them. 

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

Recently, a pygmy elephant was found dead in Sungai Udin, Malaysia. Authorities needed heavy machinery to move the lifeless body out of the river. All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, reported that the elephant was shot 70 times and had both tusks removed. Sabah Wildlife Department’s preliminary postmortem analyses revealed that the endangered animal was shot at close range with semi-automatic rifles.

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

Its bullet wounds ripped the animal’s right temple. However, the authorities are not yet sure whether the elephant suffered a protracted and agonizing death or died quickly. The sequence of shots fired should still be determined to know the animal’s level of suffering. As of now, authorities are searching for four to five poachers as their suspects. The Wildlife Department wasn’t allowed by Tawau District Police Chief ACP Peter Umbuas to work on this matter without official protection. “This is because the suspects are confirmed to have firearms and the Wildlife Department has lodged a police report,” he said.

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

Augustine Tuuga, director of Sabah Wildlife Department, believes that the poachers were local. They specifically targeted Asian elephants for their tusks due to the high price of ivory in the black market. “It’s not easy to get evidence of who did all those [deliberate] acts, not easy to get the suspect, because people are not giving any information to us. We hope to catch those who killed the elephant and hand them over to the court to face stern action,” he said. 

 

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