Just days after an elephant died after colliding with a train in India, another (an endangered Borneo pygmy elephant) has been found dead in Malaysia with 70 bullets lodged in its body, and its tusks removed.
Despite the current positive news happening in the environmental sphere, it seems as though there are some people out there who still simply don’t care for our planet and animal inhabitants.
These “ignorant” humans include poachers and trophy hunters— who track down and brutally murder endangered animals for fun.
And one most recent tragic discovery is a brutally shot pygmy elephant in Malaysia. The poor creature’s tusks had been removed, which means it was most likely captured by ivory hunters.
But to make matters even worse, the elephant was found with over 70 bullet wounds in its body.
This is a brutal blow to an endangered species that is already ravaged by habitat loss.
There are less than 1,500 Borneo pygmy elephants in the wild, and now one of their own has been viciously murdered.
A postmortem revealed that the animal was killed when a bullet pierced its temple— in total, it was short 70 times in close range with semi-automatic rifles.
A source close to Sabah Wildlife Department reported:
“[The elephant] was found tied to a riverbank, and more than half of the elephant’s body was underwater.
“It is not sure whether the elephant suffered greatly before dying, but one bullet went right through the left temple.”
Sabah’s Wildlife Department Director Augustine Tuuga said poaching of pygmy elephants are “not common,” even though Asian elephants have long been targeted for their tusks.
Tuuga added that the poachers who killed this elephant were presumably local, and it was far from a professional job.
“It’s not easy to get evidence of who did all those [deliberate] acts, not easy to get the suspect, because people are not giving any information to us. We hope to catch those who killed the elephant and hand them over to the court to face stern action.”
Pygmy elephants have long been protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment of 1997. Anyone found guilty of killing a pygmy elephant could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $60,000.
Tragically, more than 100 pygmy elephants have been killed in the last 10 years, and many of these were purposefully killed by poison or gunfire, often to remove their tusks, which can sell for hundreds of dollars.