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Residents of Kampung Lukut in the Kota Tinggi district of Johor are scared of a wild elephant that has taken to wandering near their houses since earlier this month.
So far, there have been six encounters between the animal and the villagers which usually happened at night, between 9.00 p.m. to 12.00 a.m.
One resident, Azman Husin, 38, said the elephant came near to his house on Sunday night, but fortunately no property was damaged. His neighbor managed to record footage of the animal using his phone.
“The residents have lodged their complaints to the authorities for further actions,” he said to Bernama.
His friend, Roslan Dahalan, 52, said he hoped that authorities would take the matter seriously even though no property has been damaged yet.
“We are worried that the tragic incident of an elephant causing a villager’s death in Ladang Tunjuk Laut previously would happen here as well.
“Help us and please return them to their original habitat,” said Roslan. He was referring to an incident in 27 June, when a 33-year old Indonesian, Sofian Adi, was found dead at Ladang Tunjuk Laut, Tanjung Sedili, who is believed to be trampled by a wild elephant.
According to acting village chief Amran Saari, 53, the elephant has even entered into a nearby rubber plantation owned by the Malaysian Rubber Board (LGM). A few rubber trees have been destroyed, believed to be caused by the animal as elephant footprints are located nearby the trees.
Director of Johor Wildlife Deparment (Perhilitan), Jamalun Nasir Ibrahim has received report from Kampung Lukut residents about an adult elephant that is wandering around the village.
“I am confident the elephant is separated from its herd, believed to live near Panti forest which is around three kilometers from the village,” he spoke to Bernama in Johor Bahru.
Human-elephant encounters are not rare in Malaysia, and in some cases, have even resulted in the death of either party.
On 19 June, a two-year old elephant was found dead in a pool of blood by the roadside of the Gerik-Jeli highway, believed to be hit by a car.
In December 2011, Australian-based Jenna O’Grady Donly was killed by a pygmy elephant when she was trekking with her friends in Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Sabah.