Police warn Seri Alam residents to be alert for wild elephants

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A Borneo pygmy elephant looks for food along the Kinabatangan river in Sabah February 19, 2009. — Reuters pic
A Borneo pygmy elephant looks for food along the Kinabatangan river in Sabah February 19, 2009. — Reuters pic

JOHOR BARU, Oct 19 — The Seri Alam police advised the public, especially those residing in the Tiram and Sungai Tiram, to look out for wild elephants and immediately contact the authorities if they see these roaming about in residential areas.

Seri Alam police chief Superintendent Mohd Sohaimi Ishak said the public should notify the nearest police station or the Johor Baru Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) directly if they have information on wild elephants in their areas.

“Police confirmed that there were reported sightings of two wild elephants that were believed to be roaming about from 14.5 Mile Sungai Tiram to the back of the the Army’s Combat Training Centre (Pulada) in Ulu Tiram and crossing over to the Bandar Tiram residential area at 5.17am yesterday,” he said in a statement issued here tonight.

The statement came after a five-second video from a closed-circuit television (CCTV) was circulated online earlier today on the Orang Kota Tinggi Facebook page about elephants wondering in the Taman Bandar Tiram residential area.

Mohd Sohaimi said the earlier information on the elephants was relayed by the Johor Baru Perhilitan, after they received information from the public about the elephant sightings at 8.30am.

“However, the police have not received any reports on damage to public property or casualties in the respective areas,” he said.

In Johor, it has been reported that elephant sightings in developed areas and residential areas have been on the rise.

According to Johor Perhilitan, the department received 514 complaints on elephants in the past five years.

Experts believe that such sightings of wild elephants are due to the rapid fragmentation of the forest as these animals do not have safe passage to move from one forest patch to another that is away from people and homes.

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