Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Malaysia saves endangered pygmy elephant on Borneo

Malaysian wildlife authorities said they had rescued a pygmy elephant calf on Borneo island and expressed hope a planned sanctuary would provide protection for the endangered animals.

The male calf, which is less than a month old, was pulled out of a deep moat surrounding a palm oil plantation in remote Sabah state on Friday, said Sen Nathan, a senior official with the Sabah Wildlife Department.

It is the fifth calf rescued by wildlife officials since 2009. Three of those previously saved have died but a female has recovered and is now at a wildlife park.

There are fewer than 2,000 Borneo pygmy elephants left in the wild, according to authorities. A sub-species of the Asian elephant, the creatures have a rounded appearance and are smaller than mainland elephants.

Wildlife activists warn that pygmy elephants are fast losing their natural habitat to deforestation and human encroachment on Borneo, a vast island shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.



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