Friday, August 12, 2016

Bornean elephant with backwards-pointing tusks found in Tawau

TAWAU: A Bornean bull elephant with its tusks pointing backwards was found near the Felda Umas plantation in Tawau yesterday.

The Sabah Wildlife Department has sent its Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) rangers to translocate the unique animal from the plantation.

Department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said this was the second elephant he had seen with tasks pointing backwards.

“It’s very unusual,” he said, adding that the elephant could be part of a herd from central Sabah that eventually moved towards the east coast.

Wildlife officials are discussing with other experts about the possible cause of the unusual tusks, including in-breeding.

Dr Sen said the bull elephant is among three pachyderms that the WRU is translocating from the plantation to an undisclosed location.

Department director William Baya said human-elephant conflicts have been on the increase in recent years at elephant habitat areas in the central and south eastern parts of Sabah, including Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Beluran, Lahad Datu, Tawau, Nabawan and Pensiangan.