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Wildlife Dept receives truck donation for rescued elephant translocation

22nd September, 2020

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department yesterday received a ten-tonne truck fully equipped with an eight-tonne crane costing RM597,000 for rescued elephant translocation.

The donor who requested to remain anonymous was a visitor to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre two years ago.

The vehicle was handed over to Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) director, Augustine Tuuga in a simple ceremony held at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park and witnessed by SWD officers and guests.

In Sabah, human-elephant conflict has threatened the survival of the Bornean elephants, thus translocating ‘problem-elephants’ has become an important human-elephant conflict mitigation.

If the need really arise in translocating problem-elephants, it is essential to capture it by drug immobilization, transport by truck and release to a protected area.

Therefore, it was crucial that SWD has enough experienced staff and a good truck equipped with a heavy-duty crane to lift a 6- to 9-foot elephant weighing more than two tonnes without the use of an excavator.

Presently, the department has one very old and heavily used 22-year-old truck which makes it difficult to provide immediate assistance when needed and many times in the past when elephant problems had to be delayed due to the truck’s condition. It was also unsafe for both staff and the animal.

While respecting the donor’s request to remain anonymous, the SWD thanked the donor for the great gift to Sabah’s wildlife conservation effort.

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