By Ruben Sario
KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia - Two male elephant calves rescued from plantations in Sabah's east coast on Feb 12 are adapting well to their temporary home at Sepilok in Sandakan district.
Sabah Wildlife Department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said one of the calves, Jimbo, had gained 9kg and now weighed 88.6kg.
"Jimbo is now drinking 2.5 litres of milk at a time," he said, adding that the navel of the recently-born calf was almost completely dry.
He said the other calf, Tun Tan, was consuming slightly more milk at three litres in one go.
Dr Sen said Tun Tan's weight had increased by 7kg and it now weighed 117.8kg.
He said both calves had been placed in a new enclosure at the department's rehabilitation centre in Sepilok as Jimbo had found a way to get out of the smaller holding area near the veterinary clinic.
The calves were found at separate locations in Kinabatangan.
Jimbo was found at an estate in Sg Lokan after wildlife rangers received a report from the plantation manager.
Tun Tan was found in a plantation near Sukau and followed a tractor driven by a plantation worker back to the kongsi area where it was picked up by rangers.
Department director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu had said they were uncertain of the fate of Jimbo's and Tun Tan's mothers.
Rangers have been scouring areas in Kinabatangan to locate the elephant cows but until now have not found any traces of them.
There were growing concerns that the calves' mothers may have been poisoned as part of efforts to stop the herd from marauding in farms or plantations.
Another possibility is that the calves were separated from their herd when people or plantation workers tried to shoo them away.