Elephant poachers arrested in Malaysia

March 13, 2018
Asian elephants, found in India and Southeast Asia, are listed as an endangered species

Four heavily armed poachers who targeted wild elephants in Malaysia have been caught, officials said Tuesday, the second such arrest in less than two years.

Wildlife officials said the caught near the town of Gerik in the northern Malaysian state of Perak was found with deer antlers and suspected tiger bones.

A joint police and department investigation also led the agents to find an elephant shot dead by the poachers in a nearby forest with its ripped out.

"This crew is notorious. They hunt ," wildlife department chief Abdul Kadir Abdul Hashim told AFP.

"There are maybe two more (poaching) groups (in the area). We are working together with the police on this."

A police statement said weapons including rifles and homemade shotguns as well as animal snares were found after they arrested the gang.

The elephant's tusks were not found, with a wildlife official believing that they were already sold.

He added that the gang—all locals—were believed to have been operating since 2009, and were also active in the nearby state of Kelantan.

The arrests come a year after a seven-man gang was arrested in Kelantan, with explosives, guns and parts of tusks seized.

Elizabeth John, senior communications officer of wildlife trade watchdog Traffic Southeast Asia, hoped to see more busts like these in the future.

"The seizure of high powered weapons clearly shows what wildlife and other authorities are up against," she said.

There are believed to be some 1,200 wild Asian elephants in peninsular Malaysia, down from as many as 1,700 in 2011.

Though endangered and protected by law, many of these pachyderms have been hunted for their ivory, which can fetch thousands of dollars on the black market.

Explore further: Thailand seizes large elephant tusks worth over $450,000

Related Stories

Malaysia seizes million-dollar ivory shipment

December 13, 2011

Malaysia has seized elephant tusks and ivory handicrafts worth an estimated four million ringgit ($1.3 million) en route from Kenya to Cambodia, a customs official said Tuesday.

Malaysia seizes rare animal parts worth almost $1 mn

August 2, 2017

Malaysia has seized elephant tusks and pangolin scales from Africa worth almost a million dollars, an official said Wednesday, highlighting the country's role as a hub for smuggling rare animal parts.

Three tonnes of ivory seized in Vietnam

July 9, 2017

Vietnamese authorities have seized nearly three tonnes of ivory hidden among boxes of fruit, officials said Sunday, the latest haul to spotlight the country's key role in the global wildlife smuggling trade.

Recommended for you

New innovations in cell-free biotechnology

March 23, 2018

A Northwestern University-led team has developed a new way to manufacture proteins outside of a cell that could have important implications in therapeutics and biomaterials.

Genome of American cockroach sequenced for the first time

March 23, 2018

A team of researchers with South China Normal University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has for the first time sequenced the genome of the American cockroach. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, ...

Study tracks protein's role in stem cell function

March 23, 2018

MCL-1 is a member of the BCL-2 family of proteins important for blocking apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Many types of cancer cells escape the body's effort to kill them by overexpressing MCL-1.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.