Wild elephant encroaches on three Gua Musang Orang Asli settlements
GUA MUSANG - Over 2,000 residents of three Orang Asli settlements, Pos Belatim, Pos Bihai and Pos Gob, are living in fear as their villages have been encroached on by a wild elephant since last week.
One resident, Rahimi Dolah, 45, from Pos Belatim, said that his vegetable plots in Kampung Chachuh have been destroyed several times by the elephant, and he fears the animal will go to another village.
"The distance between my house and my farm is about one kilometre (km) and I did not hear the noise when the farm was destroyed by the elephant, because it often happened at night.
"I am a little worried about the safety of the people here because the elephant is still roaming in this area, and it is not impossible that it will move to other villages,” he said when met by reporters here today.
Kamal Padek, 43, of Pos Bihai, said that the wild elephant initially entered their settlement for food, but it rampaged through the farm, which is located 100 metres away from the settlement.
"Last Monday, an elephant came to the village area to eat the tapioca planted near the house. We managed to drive it away, but during the night the animal came back into the garden.
"The elephant not only eats tapioca and bananas, but also damages the saplings of coconut trees and rubber trees," he said.
Meanwhile, Angah Along, 60, expressed hope that the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) and Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) can take immediate action to address the matter.
"It is unlikely that this elephant will move to another place because it has found its food source here. So I hope the relevant authorities will help us soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, Galas state assemblyman, Mohd Syahbuddin Hashim, said that the conflict between the elephant and humans should not be allowed to continue and that the authorities should take temporary security measures, such as setting up elephant repellent lamps or campfires, to prevent the elephant from damaging more crops. - BERNAMA