KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife rangers in Sabah are having their hands full dealing with elephants straying into populated areas in two districts recently.
State Wildlife Department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said a group of 18 elephants had strayed into a village in Telupid district, near Sandakan.
Seven other elephants that strayed into the area had been herded back and relocated.
Dr Sen said the rangers were working as fast as possible to relocate the animals to a nearby forest reserve.
In February, wildlife rangers were called in to relocate a herd of 30 elephants that had caused a scare among villagers at Kampung Bauto in Telupid.
The elephants caused massive damage to oil palm, banana and fruit trees planted by the villagers.
Two female elephants, said to be matriarchs of the herd, were translocated to the nearby Dermakot Forest Reserve in hopes that the others would follow them.
Dr Sen said despite efforts to relocate the elephants, there was no assurance the problem had been resolved.
“There is no guarantee they will stay away (from villages) as elephant habitats are shrinking due to human activities,” he said.