Collared Elephant Bull Found Dead Near Kawag Reserve; Tusks Intact

Liningkung during his collaring and translocation by the SWD Wildlife Rescue Unit in 2016 before it was translocated. – Photo credit Wildlife Rescue Unit)

KOTA KINABALU: Liningkung, one of the few collared Borneon Elephant, was found dead close to the Kawag Forest Reserve on Tuesday morning.

The severely decomposed carcass of the elephant bull was found by staff of the Sabah Forestry Department, after Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) was “concerned about a lack of movements and provided his latest GPS location.”

The tusks of Liningkung were found along with the carcass, leading officials to believe it fled from poachers after it was shot. – Photo courtesy of Sabah Forestry Department

Liningkung is believed to have been shot by poachers, but escaped, and fled to the Reserve where it eventually died.

News of the elephant’s death, the eighth in the last 14 months, was posted on DGFC website Wednesday.

Benoit Goossens, the DGFC Director, confirmed the discovery of carcass and with its tusks intact.

Forestry rangers at the site where the highly decomposed carcass of Liningkung was found.

This is the ninth reported death of the ‘totally protected’ Bornean Elephant in Sabah within the last 14 months.

In its Facebook posting, DGFC wrote:

“This is with great sadness that DGFC is announcing the death of Liningkung, a beautiful elephant bull that was collared and translocated from Telupid area to Ulu Segama Forest Reserve in May 2016, following conflicts with villagers.

“He lived happily for 18 months before being most likely shot by poachers. His carcass was found yesterday morning by Sabah Forestry Department’s staff after DGFC was concerned about a lack of movements and provided his latest GPS location.

“The tusks were still on the animal which leads us to assume that he escaped from his poachers.

Sabre, the bull that was butchered for its tusks in December 2016.

“This is the third elephant found dead in the area after Sabre (also collared by DGFC) and another bull were found shot and de-tusked last December.”

Goossens added: “The recent move announced by Sam Mannan, Chief Conservator of Forests, to set up a special wildlife enforcement unit to go after wildlife poachers and traders is absolutely vital, or else we will lose all our charismatic species… elephants, bantengs, pangolins, etc.”

A veterinarian from the Sabah Wildlife Department is at the site conducting a post mortem.


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