SWIFT and careful action by the management and staff of an oil palm estate in Kunak resulted in the rescue of an endangered pygmy elephant that was trapped in a pool of mud of a former volcano that is inactive.
It was learnt that the elephant was seen walking into the mud pool thinking it was a shallow lake.
“It got stuck there,” said an observer who showed pictures of the elephant’s tense situations while almost submerged in the mud.
The estate in Tingkayu/Binuang is located adjacent to Ulu Kalumpang forest reserve about 23 miles from Kunak town. “Those who helped remove the elephant from the mud pool were careful to ensure that it was not injured,” he said. An excavator was used to assist the elephant get out of the pool by collapsing a section of the pool edge to create a passage out for the elephant and to help push the elephant from behind.
The pygmy elephant, also referred to as Borneo pygmy elephant, was identified by WWF in 2003 as a new sub-species of the Asian elephant, but there is very little information about them, including their numbers, in the island of Borneo.