THIS IS ABOUT THE SADDEST PHOTO I’VE EVER SEEN (AGAIN)
OK, I’m not sure about this “news.” But it IS World Elephant Day.
The below doesn’t say WHEN these 14 elephants were poisoned or whether it was recent. Over a year? In a week? In history? But it does say they were FOUND over a period of about a month. Nevertheless, it deserves a post and yet more public shaming against the Malaysian palm oil industry, which is a huge user of green-washing. I DO believe this is an OLD picture, though. Perhaps from March 2014.
At any rate, Malaysia and Indonesia MUST STOP ILLEGAL and NON-SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL. And their officials must stop being a part of turning a blind eye to the graft, corruption and illegality that makes such murderous tactics happen.
It was a shocking sight for the rangers of the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve: a baby elephant trying in vain to wake its mother with its trunk. She had been poisoned, along with 13 other animals. Their carcasses were found over a period of four weeks on land controlled by Yayasan Sabah, the state wood and palm oil group. The elephants all belonged to the same herd, which had been staying at the edge of the rainforest reserve – in close proximity to a logging camp and oil palm plantations.
“The elephants ate rat poison. That’s how the plantation workers stop the animals from eating the fruit of the oil palm”, suspects Laurentius Ambu, director of the local conservation authority. The Borneo pygmy elephant is a rare forest elephant subspecies, of which no more than 1,500 animals remain – almost all in Sabah.
Malaysia’s economy continues to rely on exports of tropical timber and palm oil. The last remaining rainforest areas in the states of Sabah and Sarawak are being cleared for plantations. And with those forests, Borneo is losing an incredible wealth of animal and plant species, including endangered rhinos, orangutans and proboscis monkeys.
Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman is driving the deforestation by personally granting permits to clear the rainforest and establish palm oil plantations. He is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the state-owned Yayasan Sabah Group. In late 2012, the company began clearing another 70,000 hectares of rainforest for plantations, leaving no room for the forest elephants.
Call on Aman and the Malaysian government to put an immediate end to this crime against nature and to work toward protecting the rainforests and their residents.
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