KOTA KINABALU: The authorities are one step closer in solving the latest Beluran elephant killing with the discovery of the tusks belonging to the mammal found dead last week.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said this but added that it was too early to disclose other details as the case is still under investigation.
“The latest news I got last night on the second elephant killing, is that they discovered the tusks already.
“But the killers and culprits behind this incident are still being investigated. At the moment, I cannot reveal more to safeguard the investigation process as we are trying to catch these culprits,” she said.
Beluran police, in a statement, said the tusks were found in some bushes by villagers at the Bimbingan 2 IOI plantation, where the elephant was killed.
Despite gunshot wounds found on the elephant, police have ruled that out as the cause of death, adding that no bullets were found on the body and that the cause of death is still being determined.
This is the second elephant killing within a month – the previous one even more gruesome involving an adult male pygmy that was riddled with 70 bullet wounds in Tawau on Sept 25.
On another matter, Liew said her ministry will assist the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (MoTAC) in Sabah in the development of a standard operating procedure (SOP) for scuba diving activities.
Liew said the recent viral posts of a dive master bringing tourists without him wearing a Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) and sharing oxygen with clients without his own tank has tarnished the state’s tourism image.
The location of the incident, believed to be around Pulau Timba-Timba in Semporna, is outside the jurisdiction of Sabah Parks while scuba diving activities are also not under the purview of MoTAC, showcasing the lack of regulations pertaining to scuba diving.
“That is why we need this SOP, but before that, we will do a workshop to get the views and input from all related stakeholders.
“We hope it can be done as soon as possible, but we need to sit down and discuss first,” she said.
She said the authorities will also try to locate and investigate the divemaster and company involved before they can decide on any actions.
Meanwhile commenting on the event, Liew said it was important for all companies to conduct an EIA report in the very beginning before a project starts. -The Star