KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department today received a ten tonne truck fully equipped with an 8 ton crane costing RM597,000.00 for elephant rescue 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 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 threatens 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 and therefore, it was crucial that the department has enough experienced staff and a good truck equipped with a heavy-duty crane to lift a 6 to 9 foot elephant weighing about more than 2 tonne without the help of an excavator.
At present, the department has one very old and heavily used 22 years old truck which made it difficult to provide immediate assistance when needed and that there were many times 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 Sabah Wildlife Department would like to thank the donor for this great ‘gift’ to Sabah’s conservation effort and extremely honoured for having received this ‘gift’.