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State Govt reward for info on jumbo killers
Published on: Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The State Government will offer a reward to those with information that can lead to the arrest of those who kill pygmy elephants.

Newly-appointed State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew said on Tuesday that the policy will be reactivated to deal with the cause of the killing of the species down at its roots.

She said the killing of pygmy elephants in Sabah is "getting worse", expressing sadness that one of the elephants killed was only about a year old.

"The Ministry will also reactivate the giving of rewards to witnesses. Anybody in the plantations who see elephants being killed and is willing to come forward as a witness will be rewarded," she told a press conference after attending a briefing session with ministry officials on its functions. It was her first day in office.

Liew said the reward policy is one of the measures the Ministry will take to bring elephant killers to justice.

The short term measures she said are to increase the number of field rangers in plantations and to engage with a consultant to advice the State Government on how best to deal with the human-elephant conflict.

She said the ministry has identified an expert but has yet to engage the person.

She also said that the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal had called her regarding the deaths of the six pygmy elephants. Shafie was reportedly puzzled why the elephant killing still occurred despite many claims of solutions from the previous government.

He was quoted as saying that the previous government perhaps did not have the political will to push through more drastic actions that would affect logging companies and plantations.

He demanded no more lip service but insisted on seeing short and long-term conservation plans to be implemented on a fast track basis.

He also promised that the Warisan government will facilitate the efforts and will not bow dowm to pressure from any groups.

The latest incident was reported following the discovery of an elephant carcass, believed to be a baby elephant, floating in Sungai Kinabatangan last Saturday. - Leonard Alaza

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