ALSO BY

By S Param

Curse of the poisoned pygmy elephants

I whole heartedly support the urging by Sahabat Alam Malaysia's (SAM) president, the honourable SM Mohd Idris, that if the Sabah Wildlife Department, Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and the Sabah police continue to play dumb on the callous poisoning of the 14 pygmy elephants that took place six months ago in North Borneo, the public should join hands to show their displeasure in a great way.

It is indeed disturbing and mind boggling to learn that after more than six months the authorities have yet to arrest anyone for the brutal poisoning of our rare endangered pygmy elephants.

We are getting all kinds of excuses for the delay in the investigation. It is understandable for some delay in revealing the investigations due to GE13 but not to this point. It's almost half a year now!

It is a shame and laughable to learn of the claim that even an advanced country like Australia which is well known in the world for its competence in analysing veterinary specimens has not been able to identify the poison.

Are we dealing with some kind of alien poison from outer space?

I cannot comprehend why the authorities are still unable to solve the issue.

I hope the authorities are not trying to protect the culprits whoever they may be. This is a serious and unpardonable crime.

The culprits who poisoned the pygmy elephants must be brought to bear the full weight of the law.

The natural resources and environment minister, who I believe understands the gravity of the wildlife poisoning incident, should realise that the world is watching and the need to be proactive and transparent.

If the authorities continues to be silent on the issue it's only going to infuriate the local and the international community further which will be very damaging to the image of the country.

On another note I wish to point out that elephants are said to be highly sensitive and fine-tuned to nature and its environment.

Ancient literature is full of awesome stories linking elephants to mystical powers and its position in the jungle and in some early and modern kingdoms.

Forest dwellers/tribes and folk cultures in some parts of the world refer to these gentle giants as protectors and guardians of the jungle spirits.

In some cultures it is believed that any deliberate injury or killing of these elephants by humans will upset the peaceful and harmonious vibes in the region.

When this happens they believe that it will bring bad luck to the place.

Although I don't normally subscribe to such folklore or superstitions, I cannot help believing it this time, when all of a sudden North Borneo was involved in a bloody war with the Sulu insurgents just a couple of weeks after the poisoning of the elephants.

This invasion took place close to the area where these elephants were poisoned (Lahad Datu).

Call it humbug or mere coincidence but it cannot be denied that we have lost so many lives including our brave and dedicated police and army personnel just like that.

There was so much unwanted bloodshed and the region was in turmoil for some time with so many families displaced and forced to bear the consequences of the unforeseen turn of events.

Nobody in their wildest dreams would have expected such a bloody episode to unveil in this peaceful region of North Borneo.

Was it the curse of the 14 poisoned pygmy elephants?

Some who dwell in the forest and live in harmony with nature believe the only way to stabilise the disturbed vibes in the area where the pygmy elephants were killed is to appease the "spirits" of these animals.

I don't know what do these folks mean but I just hope once the elephant killers are brought to justice, the wildlife in North Borneo will continue to roam in their environment safely and peacefully knowing that we are there to protect them.