Back ankles of Pygmy elephant carcass found cut off

Back ankles of Pygmy elephant carcass found cut off

KINABATANGAN: Both the back ankles of a Borneo Pygmy elephant carcass found floating in Sungai Kinabatangan had been cut off with a sharp object, said Kinabatangan police chief Supt Dzulbaharin Ismail last night.

However, he said a post-mortem on the carcass which was conducted this evening could not determine the equipment used or whether it was carried out before or after the animal had died.

“The decomposing carcass was found with only the back portion of the body.

“Sabah Wildlife Department veterinarian Dr Bong Ai Yin said only 30 per cent of the carcass had remained as it may have been eaten by crocodiles or monitor lizards,” he said in a statement here.

Dzulbaharin said an autopsy headed by Dr Bong and two officers from the Wildlife Rescue Unit on the carcass found the elephant had died about a week ago.

He said the carcass which was found in Lot 7 of the Wildlife Sanctuary, in Sungai Kinabatangan was tugged by boat to Sungai Koyah Kinabatangan for the post-mortem.

Also present at the post-mortem were representatives from Kinabatangan police headquarters, the Kinabatangan Wildlife office and the Forestry Department.

Dzulbaharin said the autopsy showed the dead animal was a male pygmy elephant and a metal detector scan on the carcass did not found any signs of shooting or bullet fragments on the carcass.

He said so far, the cause of the elephant’s death was still unknown and four cell samples were taken from the muscle and skin of the elephant to be sent to the Chemistry Department for analysis.

The case was being investigated under Section 25(1) of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 and would be reclassified when the full post-mortem is out, he said.