Sabah state government intensifies efforts to protect elephants in the wild

The Sabah state government says it is considering planting food for elephants in certain protected areas to prevent them from encroaching into plantations.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said the move could help to reduce human- elephant conflict and prevent the extinction of the species in Sabah.

Bornean pygmy elephants are a prestige breed and are endemic. An adult elephant can eat 136kg of food comprising grass, roots, fruits and bark a day, and drink up to 150 to 200 litres of water daily. “Given the loss of habitat, the remaining 2,000-odd elephants need a home so that they don’t encroach into oil palm plantations and risk getting snared, maimed or killed,” she said in a statement.

Liew, who is also Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, said the pygmy elephants are currently concentrated in three areas – Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (MER), Tabin MER and Central Sabah MER in the Danum area.

A special taskforce comprising officials from the ministries and relevant agencies will be set up to look into the plans. The Sabah Wildlife Department has been tasked with preparing a paper on the proposed Resolution of the Human-Elephant Conflict in Sabah for submission to the state Cabinet. The Sabah Wildlife Department has been tasked with preparing a paper on the proposed Resolution of the Human-Elephant Conflict in Sabah for submission to the state Cabinet.

Sabah Tourism was represented at ITB Asia by Josephine Chai – Senior Marketing Manager.