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June 8, 2010

Wild elephant finally captured

BERA: A wild elephant that has been roaming around a palm oil plantation and destroying crops belonging to villagers in Felda Mayam and Felda Purun near here for several years was finally captured by the elephant unit of the Pahang Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan).

The elephant, weighing some 25 tonnes, was captured at the Purun forest reserve in Felda Kerapai, near Felda Mayam.

According to the unit’s assistant chief Mohd Arzaimran Arifin, villagers had made numerous complaints to the department about four wild elephants roaming in these areas since last year.

 Calming measure: The captured wild elephant (left) is calmed by a tame elephant before being transported to Taman Negara Kenyir, in Terengganu. 

He said the elephants had destroyed crops belonging to villagers and oil palm trees under the replanting scheme in the settlements.

“We captured one of the elephants last week and expect to catch the other three soon.

“However, so far the other three elephants have not come close to the village since and have not been sighted yet,” he said, adding that the captured elephant had been transferred to Taman Negara in Kenyir, Terengganu.

Mohd Arzaimran said the wild elephant was calmed by two “denak” (tamers) before the relocation process.

Meanwhile, Kampung Purun village headman Ahmad Abdul Latif said the wild elephants were active at night and the residents did not dare to go out to their plantations at night.

“In the mornings, we will find our crops of banana trees and oil palm trees destroyed.

“We feel even more frightened after a plantation worker was killed by a wild elephant a few years ago.”

He hopes that the remaining elephants will be caught soon and relocated for the safety of the villagers.



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