Stop using chemicals harmful to wildlife, oil palm plantations told

There have been six deaths of elephants in Sabah this year.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew has urged oil palm plantations to stop using chemicals harmful to wildlife.

She said cooperation from plantation managements is vital to stop the killing of elephants.

“I am extremely saddened by the latest elephant death, which is the sixth recorded this year.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew.

“I appeal to all oil-palm plantations in Sabah experiencing elephant intrusions to take every step to avoid using any chemical that can cause grievous harm to elephants.

“There is an urgent need to really stop the deaths of elephants caused by possible poisoning from continuing,” she said here today.

Liew, who is also tourism, culture and environment minister, was referring to the female elephant, aged between five and 10, found dead at Ladang KUB (Kesatuan Usaha Bersatu) near the Malua Forest Reserve in Kinabatangan on April 8.

Liew said more must be done to stop elephant deaths to ensure elephants don’t accidentally consume hazardous materials when foraging for food within plantations.

Meanwhile, no external injuries were found on the elephant. Wildlife authorities believe poisoning as the cause of death, said Liew.

A toxicology test has yet to be carried out to determine the cause of death.

Liew said plantations have already adopted the principle of harmonious coexistence, as stated under the Elephant Action Plan 2020-2029.

She said under this initiative, elephants are allowed free movement in plantations.

“I really appreciate such cooperation in line with the state’s conservation efforts and to enable the elephants to move freely within their home range,” she said.

Sabah had recorded instances of elephant deaths due to poisoning in 2019.

Liew had vowed to take action against those who used snare traps, which were the main cause of deaths of elephants in 2018.

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