On 1st May, a group of anglers stumbled upon the carcass of an elephant near the shore of Pedu Lake and realised that its tusks had been removed, probably by bounty hunters.
The elephant, yet to be ascertained whether it was a bull or cow, had died about 2 weeks earlier, according to the anglers who had passed by the Charok Jit area on their way to the angling destination.
Pedu Lake Fishermen and Breeders Cooperative Association secretary Amir Wahab said that he came to know of the dead elephant from staff, Faizuan Abu Hashim, 22, who was the boatman for the anglers. He then went to the area at about 3pm and found that the elephant was most probably killed and its tusks cut off in a “professional manner”.
“Based on the condition of the carcass with its face and tusks hauled off, we believed that it was killed for the ivory. It is not surprising that the culprits managed to escape as there have been no security personnel guarding the area. The hunters may have used the jetty of the old resort near here to avoid being caught,” Amir revealed.
“For as long as I can remember, I think this is the first such case in Pedu Lake,” he said, adding that the poacher could have used the illegal jetty in Pedu Lake to attack the elephant when it emerged from the jungle from water.
“During the current El Nino phenomenon, wild animals such as elephants emerge from the jungle to drink water at the lake,” he explained.
Kedah Wildlife and National Parks Department director Mohamad Hafid Rohani confirmed that they have received a report on the incident and are investigating the matter. He added that a post mortem would be done on the elephant to determine the cause of death.
Earlier last month, Malaysian wildlife authorities destroyed some 9500kg of illegal elephant ivory that were seized over the years to showcase the country’s commitment in curbing the alarming trend of wildlife poaching and smuggling.