Five wild female elephants including a one-year-old calf which were caught in Kampung Kuala Tiga, near here, were relocated to the Terengganu side of Taman Negara today.
Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre (NECC) operations chief Mohamad Khairul Adha Mat Amin said four female decoy elephants, namely Abok, Rambai, Surai and Kala from the NECC in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu and Kuala Gandah, Pahang were used in the operation.
‘’The operation was carried out from 9 am to noon by 25 personnel,’’ he said when met by reporters after the operation in Kampung Kuala Tiga here.
He said the five 15-year-old female elephants, weighing an average of one tonne each, were caught by the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) of Kelantan on Tuesday.
Perhilitan had acted on complaints from villagers that the wild elephants had been foraging for food in the farm areas of the village since November last year.
Mohamad Khairul Adha said Perhilitan officers had to tow the wild elephants out for one kilometre, from the locations they were caught, during the operation.
‘’It was also more challenging when one of the elephants was constantly communicating with her one-year-old baby which was being towed separately,’’ he said.
He said there were 15 to 20 wild elephants still wandering in areas near the village, which is close to the Sokor Taku Forest Reserve.
‘’The elephants entered the village areas to look for food and for protection and not to disturb the villagers as the areas were probably originally their foraging territory,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, a resident, Suhaimi Ismail, 44, on behalf of the residents, expressed his appreciation to the parties involved especially Kelantan Perhilitan for relocating the elephants.
‘’The last elephant relocation from the area was 10 years ago. The operation (today) somewhat eases the anxiety of villagers, who have to eke out a living tapping rubber and farming,’’ he added.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency