Baby elephant killed on Malaysia highway

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Alicia Solana Mena/ MEME

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Activists say elephants are increasingly being seen near busy Malaysian highways

A baby elephant has been discovered dead on a Malaysian highway after it was apparently killed by a vehicle.

State park officials who found the carcass said such incidents “do not happen very often”.

Environmentalists said increasing habitat destruction has forced wild elephants closer to the East-West Highway, which links north-east Kelantan state to the rest of Malaysia.

Officials have urged drivers to be “extra careful” when using the highway.

“We have already erected signboards to notify motorists that there would be elephant crossings along the stretch of the highway,” said Loo Kean Seong, director of the Perak Department of Wildlife and National Parks.

“So they need to be more responsible, especially when they are driving late at night or early in the morning.”

Lower speed limits, more enforcement

Kuala Lumpur-based conservation group, the Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) group, came across the dead elephant on Friday.

“We believe this baby died very fast, it was hit on its head and its family was no longer there by the time we arrived,” said Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz.

He told BBC News that there were other elephant deaths in the forested area in 2010 and 2014.

“Wild elephants have already lost so much of their forests and more of them are coming out to roads to find food like grass, palm trees and bamboo.

“They are also spending more time hanging around roads,” he said, adding that lower speed limits should be enforced and more street lights should be installed.

“As Malaysia develops, it needs to compromise. Especially in this landscape which houses one of the most important forests in South East Asia. Elephants need to roam freely and…

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