By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
TAWAU: A big bull elephant was found shot dead by suspected poachers at an oil palm estate, about 30 kilometres from here two days ago.
Plantation sources told BorneoToday they reckon that the nine-foot tall bull was shot elsewhere and managed to flee before it died at Ladang Cenderamata, located along Jalan Merotai–Kalabakan.
When contacted, Augustine Tuuga, the Sabah Wildlife Department director said:
“I can confirm the death but not true that (its) tusks removed.”
He said the case was still under investigation.
“Maybe (the elephant) was shot somewhere else, sometime before it died at the spot where it was found,” he told BorneoToday in a brief statement on Whatsapp.
The plantation worker who spotted the carcass informed the estate’s bosses who in turn contacted the SWD.
The plantation source said the fact that the tusks were found intact meant that the bull had escaped from the poachers after it was shot.
“The elephant was very likely shot by poachers elsewhere, but it managed to flee and only died after a while, thus escaping from its tusks (ivory) being removed,” pointed out the source.
It is understood that a post mortem was carried out on the bull.
The sources from the plantation have indicated that bullets were found in the elephant’s carcass during the postmortem.
Based on an unconfirmed report from the estate, a shotgun slug similar to the photo above, was believed to have been used by the poachers.