SUNGAI SIPUT, Jan 8 — The Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) has successfully managed to relocate a wild elephant after it was reported to have been encroaching on an Orang Asli settlement here for almost a month.
Its Perak director, Yusoff Shariff said the male elephant, weighing an estimated 1.8 tonnes, with the moniker Aga Legap, is believed to have wandered from the ID Piah elephant herd at a nearby forest reserve, was captured last Thursday with the assistance of two working elephants named Abot and Rambai.
“The elephant, which we estimate to be around 11 years old, will be released in his original habitat, while there are several other complaints in Pos Perwor, which we will take appropriate action.
“Previously we did use the method of driving the elephant off into the forest, but now it’s time to take action by capturing him, because wild animals usually return when he’s chased away,” he told reporters after the four-hour transfer operation involving 29 Perak Perhilitan and Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre that began at 8am today.
He added that the department has received eight complaints of elephant encroachment in the Sungai Siput district last month, especially at Pos Perwor and Lintang.
Meanwhile the Tok Batin (Orang Asli village elder) of Kampung Perjek, Ahab Sudin, 56, expressed relief and said that the villagers would now be able to rest easy after Perhilitan’s swift actions of capturing and transferring the elephant.
“We had to be alert and careful, especially at night for the past few weeks out of concern of being attacked due to the presence of the elephant,” he said.
In other developments, Yusoff said the department did not receive any new complaints regarding a reported tiger sighting at Jalan Baling-Kuala Kangsar near Kampung Kuala Kenering, Gerik last Wednesday.
“The statement claiming that there is a tiger roaming around the area is not true as our department has gone to the location and found that the claim is baseless.
“The tiger complaint is new and appeared in a week or two, and we hope that the tiger has returned to the Papulut Forest Reserve, but we have set traps as a precaution,” he said.
Yusoff advised the public not to take any action themselves if they came across a tiger as it was not aggressive if unprovoked, or was old or injured, and urged them to report any suspicious activities to the department, which could save the dwindling number of Malayan Tigers from being poached. — Bernama