GUA MUSANG: A nine-month-old baby was among a crowd of more than 70 Orang Asli villagers who fled their homes when a wild elephant invaded Kampung Kelaik, Pos Blau, on Thursday.
One of the residents, Uda Busu, 42, said the adult elephant appeared for the first time on Wednesday and raided their crops and returned at about 5pm a day later (Thursday) close to a group of children who were playing among the houses.
According to Uda, the folk from all 24 houses in the village, all members of the Temiar tribe, then fled towards the Gua Musang-Lojing road.
“All of us abandoned the village and took refuge by the roadside because we were worried the elephant could get temperamental and might injure us. We waited by the side of the road for hours until we were absolutely sure the elephant had returned to the forest.
“Only then did we return to the village at about 3am,” he said.
“When we reached home, there was leftover food and pans from two houses scattered on the ground, probably from the elephant rampaging through kitchens scavenging for food,” said Uda when contacted by reporters today.
The village head of Pos Blau, Salleh Angah, 60, hoped that the wildlife department would take long-term action to protect the safety of villagers.
“In all likelihood, this elephant will stray into another village. Previously, there were also elephants appearing on the road leading to Pos Blau. If possible, we want the authorities to drive the mammal deeper into the jungle and not invade any village again,” he said.
Kelantan wildlife director Hafid Rohani confirmed that he had received a report regarding the latest incident.
Tiger tracks spotted
Separately, villagers of a local community settlement project in Gua Musang said they found tiger tracks at an oil palm plantation last night, only 200 metres away from their homes.
A resident, Nordin Hashim said he saw the tracks at about 8.30pm last night. He told NST Online that a villager had seen a tiger nearby two days ago.
“We are worried that our livestock such as the cows and goats will be eaten. We are also worried about the safety of the villagers who sometimes enter the plantation to look for banana leaves and to release their livestock,” he was quoted as saying.