Animal activist decries inaction on animal cruelty in KK, Malaysia

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KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia:- An animal activist has criticised local authorities for their alleged lackadaisical approach in dealing with stray dogs problem and animal cruelty.

Sam Lau pointed out that Section 428 of the Penal Code stipulates that the killing of a dog, an area that should be of concern to the police, may result in jail of not more than two years or a fine or both; whereas acts of wilful cruelty towards dogs or other animals, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), may result in heavy fines.

“In KK, however, these provisions seem to hold little sway, with the authorities being slow to act or choosing not to act at all,” he said.

“The tragedy of stray animals is a seemingly never-ending and all-pervasive problem – a sight familiar to us all in KK.

A badly beaten stray dog while another lies dead on the cargo bed of a truck.

“The slaughter and brutal maiming of five stray dogs recently in Country Heights Apartments, Penampang,is a case in point and not a sight residents will easily forget,” Lau said.

He claimed that the management of the housing estate had resorted to clubbing the dogs to death after complaints to the local council fell on dead ears.

He said a member of Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) present ordered the release of the one dog that was still alive, but no measures were taken to prosecute.

The perpetrators, using the developer’s lorry to remove the dogs’ bodies, left the scene unquestioned.

“Where is the voice of authority to speak out for animal rights in Sabah? Evidently it is muffled at best or non-existent in the main.”

Lau said that in a similar incident, a recent Trap Neuter and Release (TNR) initiative by SPCA in Taman Nelly Phase 9, Kolombong ended in tragedy.

“Residents sponsoring the neutering of local strays witnessed a red truck passing through the vicinity and meat being distributed to five neutered-and-released street dogs, two of which died soon after ingesting the meat,” he claimed.

“How, despite laws being in place to criminalize the killing of these animals, can they continue to be treated as rubbish to be disposed of rather than sentient beings with the right to life?”

“Perhaps Sabah can take a page from the book of those championing dogs’ rights to life in Selangor. Following the disastrous incident of an elderly woman’s long-time pet being shot by Ipoh City Council, an ensuing outcry from the public, NGOS and Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive), led to a ban on the shooting of dogs in Ipoh.”

Lau said it is high time for more firm action to be taken against brutalising strays in KK.

“Firstly, the ambiguity surrounding prosecutions under Penal Code 428 must be addressed by the relevant parties and penalties dealt more swiftly.

“Secondly, city authorities in KK would do well to engage in dialogue with animal rights and animal protection groups to discuss ways of improving its management of stray dogs in the city.

“Such efforts would ensure that the animals are not only given a chance to live well but also provide the long-term benefits of companionship to the pet lovers who adopt them.

“The cruel killing of dogs is unacceptable if we wish to live in a truly compassionate and caring Sabah.”

News Link:-: http://www.theborneopost.com/2013/07/01/animal-activist-decries-inaction-on-animal-cruelty-in-kk/#ixzz2Xk0DtcoE

Please speak up for the canines in Malaysia by signing the petitions on these links:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/555/397/991/stop-shooting-stray-dogs-in-kota-kinabalu/

http://stopanimalabuse.petfinder.my/

Please push the SPCA in Kota Kinabalu to take action against this by posting on their facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=257789997643901&id=207200722626426¬if_t=share_reply

Read morehttp://digitaljournal.com/blog/16275

Cruelty, torture & abuse

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Elephants really do grieve like us: They shed tears and even try to ‘bury’ their dead – a leading wildlife film-maker reveals how the animals are like us

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The pictures of a baby elephant in Borneo, nudging and nuzzling the body of its dead mother in obvious distress and bewilderment, cannot fail to move us.

Allegations that up to ten pygmy elephants were poisoned, perhaps by local farmers, are upsetting — perhaps because elephant emotions seem so like our own, so heartbreakingly close to human sorrow and grief.

Any scientist knows how dangerous it is to project human feelings on to an animal, to force them into human moulds or ‘anthropomorphise’ them, but it’s equally dangerous to ignore a wealth of scientific data based on decades of observation in the wild.

Heart-rendering: An African elephant mother mourns her calf, a victim of the three consecutive years of drought in East Africa

We may never know exactly what goes on inside the mind of an elephant, but it would be arrogant of us to assume we are the only species capable of feeling loss and grief.

I have been filming animals in the wild for more than 20 years, and that has often meant being around elephants: they live across a huge range of habitats. But mass poaching has put them into terrible declinearound 40,000 elephants a year are killed by poachers and, according to some estimates, since the Sixties the population has been culled from 3.5 million to just 250,000.

I am certain that the behaviour I have witnessed so often stems from real emotion. Understanding it is the biggest challenge for a wildlife cameraman. We have to get inside the heads of the animals, see how they are reacting and predict what they will do next, or we won’t get the shots we need.

Perhaps the most dramatic and emotional sequence happened in our current BBC1 series, Africa, narrated by David Attenborough. We filmed an elephant mother’s desperate attempts to keep her calf alive during the worst drought in 50 years in Kenya.

These animals were not dying of thirst: they were starving. Some volcanic springs were still flowing, so the animals could get water; what they couldn’t get were nutrients.

By that time, the drought was well into its second year and mother and baby were trying to survive on dry twigs. There was no hay in Kenya, there was a sense of utter helplessness, and we felt the most important thing was to document what was happening.

Cameraman Mark Deeble had been following the family for days. He saw that the mother stayed with her baby and felt she was distressed, trying to lift up the dead body and move it with her feet, before standing over the prone calf for about an hour, seeming to come to terms with the situation.

Whether you were actually there or watching events unfold on the screen, it was impossible to keep your emotions separate from what you were seeing. The mother’s bereavement transmitted itself so strongly.

In a more benign environment, an elephant might mourn for longer. I have heard of animals staying beside the bodies of dead friends for three days and nights, refusing to move.

This mother didn’t do that, possibly because she had been exposed to a lot of death around her. Fifteen thousand head of game died in that reserve during the drought. More than 400 elephants perished, including 60 per cent of all the matriarchs — a herd’s female leader. It was a terrible time for that population, and I think death had become familiar to them. You could draw a parallel with humans in wartime. The mother had to move on for her own survival.

We couldn’t save her baby, but we felt it was essential to put its death in context: Africa is infamous for its droughts and famines, and yet we very rarely see how seriously that affects its wildlife.

Scientists have observed extraordinary displays of emotion from elephants. When one tame animal called Abu died at a safari outfit in Botswana, his keepers brought the other elephants to say ‘goodbye’. One female, Cathy, was seen crying from both eyes, tears streaming down her face.

That doesn’t mean elephants know what death is. They can’t anticipate death in the way we can or imagine it as an abstract concept. Their grief is different: it’s simply about loss.

Dr Kate Evans, of the Elephants For Africa research foundation, has told me that on several occasions she has watched grieving elephants exhibit almost a sense of puzzlement.

They pick up, hold and examine bones, balancing a jawbone on their tusks or putting it in their mouths, as if they are saying to their dead friend: ‘Is that you?’ Perhaps the discredited myth of the elephant’s graveyard, a secret place where the animals supposedly went to die, had its origins in the fact that elephants interact with their dead.

Dr Evans has observed mourning among wild elephants that she knew well. On one occasion, a young bull came across three skulls. He ignored the first two, but paid particular attention to the third skull, from an elephant he had been friendly with. In Kate’s words, he seemed to know who the skull belonged to

Another time, a matriarch collapsed and died in the bush. Over the next three weeks, several lone males visited her body and spent time by her side.

Back in the Forties, George Adamson (the naturalist who, with his wife Joy, was the inspiration for the film Born Free) recalled how he once had to shoot a bull elephant from a herd that kept breaking into the government gardens of northern Kenya.

Adamson gave the elephant’s meat to the local Turkana tribesmen and then dragged the rest of the carcass half a mile away. That night, other elephants found the body, took the shoulderblade and leg bone, and returned the bones to the exact spot where the elephant was killed.

According to Charlie Mayhew, of the Tusk Trust, elephants will ‘bury’ their dead, covering carcasses with branches and even taking the tusks to be placed at a different spot. We cannot guess the precise meaning of that, but it’s clear that elephants are large-brained and social animals that live in complex groups. They recognise each other and, of course, they have marvellous memories.

When one animal dies, they will each need to assess how their social group has changed and how to re-evaluate themselves within this new hierarchy. The whole dynamic changes, and they need to know where they fit in within the crowd.

Those are not the only emotions they display. If you look at an elephant calf, chasing cattle egrets through the long grass, it is playing — it exhibits joy. In another episode of the Africa series, we showed a young bull elephant in ‘must’ or on heat — he was throwing his weight around, clearly in a heightened emotional state. We called it a ‘sexual fury’.

Elephants in zoos have reportedly shown symptoms of depression. The first African elephant to be taken to London Zoo, in the 1860s, was called Jumbo, and he posed problems for his keepers, who tried to keep him happy and amused.

For humans, the most complex and important emotion is love, and we describe it in a multitude of ways. The powerful bond between a mother elephant and her calf is an easy one for us to understand. But unlike humans, elephants don’t seem to have any notion of romantic love. You don’t get courting elephants — when they mate, it can be a pretty brief encounter.

Their society is a very female-based hierarchy, and the loyalty that a herd shows to a matriarch is intensely strong. They will follow her wherever she goes: perhaps that is a manifestation of love of a different sort.

Emotion requires communication, and the vocalisations of elephants are incredibly sophisticated.

They operate on some sound frequencies we can hear — trumpeting and grumbling — and others that we can’t. Much of their long-distance communication occurs through vibrations that are inaudible to us.

Low-frequency (or infrasonic) sounds are transmitted constantly, a deep rumble somewhere between  15-30 Hertz. The normal human range of hearing is between 20Hz and 20,000Hz.

These low frequencies can be sensed through the elephants’ trunks and even their feet, like vibrations on the skin of a drum.

They can talk to other elephants 50 miles away through the ground, communicating in ways that we are only just beginning to understand. It is possible that each elephant can recognise up to 100 other individuals by their infrasonic ‘voice’.

When we’re working with elephants, we can never let down our guard. I have been with populations that were utterly relaxed around humans; they just looked at us as being another kind of primate. Once, in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, on foot, I was part of a three-man camera team when we were surrounded by a herd of elephants.

That felt pretty scary — we were miles from our camp and could do nothing but crouch low beside a termite mound and keep murmuring, making small movements to show the animals that we were still alive. These were elephants very much in their natural state; they had never been hunted, and they were simply curious. In turn, three mothers brought their babies to show us to them. It appeared to be for their education — as if the mums were saying: ‘Come here, kids, and look at this!’

The babies approached us to within about five or six metres, wiggling their trunks and looking in all directions, and then they would suddenly lock on to us. We could hear these rumblings between mother and calf, as if they were discussing us. This happened three times within about ten minutes, before the matriarch led the herd away. That really was a magical experience.

When we’re on foot, especially in the forests of western Africa, we often have to use their trails. The only pathways are those made by elephants, so there is always a chance of an encounter. If one is coming head on, our only option is to get off the path: we have to rely on our guides because they know much more about the habits of those particular elephants than we do. And they will probably hear them coming a lot sooner.

You might imagine you could see an elephant coming a mile off, but it’s amazing how easy it is for an elephant to disappear. Give them a few small bushes and they can vanish completely. They are incredibly stealthy for their size.

Sadly, the impact of poaching is changing their behaviour. Some populations are becoming more aggressive because of it. Though I can’t prove it, I would readily accept that the elephant who wanted to shake our cameraman out of a tree was an animal who might have been hunted. All the others in the herd seemed relaxed, but this one was grumpy.

Why was that? Who can say how an individual elephant will respond to the loss of a close family member to poachers? All this feels particularly poignant as we examine in the next and last episode of Africa the future of the continent’s wildlife, and ask what the next few years hold for elephants.

Apart from the poaching crisis, elephants are coming into increasing conflict with farmers and expanding human populations. The incident in Borneo highlights that it’s not just an African problem.  One thing is certain: there will be many more dead elephants to mourn in the coming months.

News Linkhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2270977/Elephants-really-grieve-like-They-shed-tears-try-bury-dead–leading-wildlife-film-maker-reveals-animals-like-us.html#ixzz2JzKmOKP8
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Did Palm Oil Plantation Workers Poison 14 Pygmy Elephants Found Dead In Borneo?

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  • A total of ten of the creatures have been discovered in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve, Borneo, over the past three weeks
  • Conservation officials believe the endangered animals had been poisoned
  • Estimated to be fewer than 1,500 Borneo pygmy elephants in existence

Please note graphic images are at the end of this long post; viewer discretion advised. A Video is also at the end of this post!”

Palm oil plantation workers were today blamed for the deaths of 14 pygmy elephants on the remote island of Borneo.

Wildlife rangers believe that the creatures could have eaten toxic substances laid to keep away ‘pests’ from the highly lucrative crop.

The animals live on land in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve which is very close to palm oil fields.

Thriving: The orphan pygmy elephant is being cared for at a wildlife reserve where it was taken after the death of its mother

A total of 14 pygmy elephants are now know to have died. Four adults were discovered yesterday in addition to ten bodies found earlier in the week.

Vets said that all the dead elephants had suffered severe bleeding and gastrointestinal ulcers, suggesting they had been poisoned.

Among the survivors is a three-month-old calf which was pictured pitifully trying to rouse his mother after she dropped down dead.

It is now being cared for at a wildlife park in Sabah where rangers have found it a home with other orphans.

Wildlife workers fear that more elephants could have been poisoned and are lying undiscovered in the remoter parts of Borneo.

Laurentius Ambu, Sabah’s director of wildlife, said: ‘We are very concerned that many more carcasses are going to turn up.

‘Because the elephants travel in herds they are going to be picking up the poisons together so we fear that there are still more dead that are going to be found.

Great loss’: A three-month-old elephant calf attempts to wake its mother; one of ten pygmy elephants found dead in Malaysia’s Sabah state

He said that rangers were scouring the island for areas where poison could have been laid.

‘My hunch is that there may be more (carcasses). I don’t think it’s an accident,’ he added, explaining that the area where the dead elephants were found is part of a 100,000-acre (40,469-hectare) piece of ‘commercial forest reserve’ land managed by state agency Sabah Foundation.

He said the area was slated to be used as a tree plantation for sustainable logging. So far, two palm oil plantations and a logging company operate in the area, he said.

Mr Ambu said far too many jungle areas in Sabah were being broken up by agricultural or logging activities, without corridors linking them to allow animals to pass through.

‘This shouldn’t be. The fragmentation of forests has disrupted the elephants’ traditional routes to look for food.

‘It is highly suspected that the poisoning is blatantly done or that it’s a well-planned programme.’

Attached: The baby elephant sticks close to the body of its mother, while a wildlife department official gives it a drink

Police are investigating the deaths and officials have declined to say whether there are any suspects.

Meanwhile, conservationists say they are deeply concerned about the effects the palm oil industry is having on the wildlife of Borneo.

A spokesman for the WWF said that the dead elephants were found in areas being converted for plantations, giving fresh urgency to activists’ warnings of rising conflict between man and wildlife as development accelerates.

‘The central forest landscape in Sabah needs to be protected totally from conversion,’ the group said in a statement.

‘Conversions result in fragmentation of the forests, which in turn results in loss of natural habitat for elephant herds, thus forcing them to find alternative food and space, putting humans and wildlife wildlife in direct conflict.’

‘Sad day’: A total of seven female and three male pygmy elephants have been found in the forest over the past three weeks

The first ten known deaths of the pygmy elephants were made public this week, capturing wide attention as only about 1,200 of the elephants exist worldwide.

Authorities released several photographs of the elephant carcasses, including a particularly poignant one of the three-month-old surviving calf trying to wake its dead mother.

Most of the pygmy elephants live in Sabah and grow to about 8 feet (245 centimetres) tall, a foot or two shorter than mainland Asian elephants.

Known for their babyish faces, large ears and long tails, Borneo pygmy elephants were found to be a distinct subspecies only in 2003, after DNA testing.

Sabah is one of the poorest states in Malaysia. Sabah Foundation was granted huge forest concessions, totalling about 14 percent of total land area in Sabah, by the state government to enable it to generate income to fund its aim of improving the lives of poor rural people.

The Sabah Foundation website said it had adopted sound forest management policies to ensure the areas are managed on a sustainable basis.

Tragic: The carcasses of the endangered animals were found in the forest over a period of three weeks

Read morehttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2271230/Endangered-pygmy-elephants-killed-plantation-workers.html#ixzz2JhuUcjW4
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Pygmy Elephants Found Dead In Borneo

Published on 29 Jan 2013

Pygmy elephant calf desperately tries to wake up dead mother who was one of ten animals found poisoned 

A baby pygmy elephant tries in vain to rouse its mother, one of ten of the endangered creatures found dead in a Malaysian forest.

Experts believe the rare, baby-faced animals, whose bodies were found in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve in Sabah state, Borneo, had been poisoned.
Wildlife officials rescued this three-month-old elephant calf, which was found glued to its dead mother’s side in the jungle.

The seven female and three male elephants, which were all from the same family group, have been found over the past three weeks.

Sabah’s environmental minister Masidi Manjun said the cause of death appeared to be poisoning, but it was not yet clear whether the animals had been deliberately killed.

There are believed to be fewer than 1,500 Borneo pygmy elephants in existence.
While some have been killed for their tusks in the area in recent years, there was no evidence to suggest the elephants had been poached.

Sick dogs saved from being suffocated to death

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“This is heartbreaking & so very cruel, one can only assume this owner & all the other numb nuts that treat dogs like this are just plain stupid & thick…when they don’t acknowledge shelters exist who can help them!! Shame it doesn’t say how the dogs are doing, only that they were saved!”

KOTA KINABALU:

 A cruel dog owner disposed of two pet terriers inside a nylon sack that was tied up very tightly and dumped near the garbage bin.

ABANDONED: The two terriers stuffed into the sack which was tied tightly.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) KK is seeking public assistance in identifying the dogs’ owner.

On May 22, a resident of Tanah Emas Penampang, Mr Tan, heard cries that sounded like animals near his house. He went to investigate and discovered that the cries were coming from a sack near the rubbish bin. He quickly called SPCA KK before taking the sack to the nearest veterinary clinic.

SPCA KK said the two terriers were about two years old. Both were in very bad shape and were suffering from severe skin condition. It is unknown how long they had been stuffed into the sack.

“The intention is very clear for these two unfortunate dogs – death by suffocation simply because of a treatable skin condition if the owner had
the decency to take them for treatment earlier,” said SPAC KK in a statement yesterday.

Dogs and cats are protected by the Animals Act 1953 in Peninsular Malaysia and similar legislation in Sabah and Sarawak. According to Section 44 (1) of the Animal Act 1953, cruelty to animals is liable to a fine of RM200 or a term of imprisonment of six months, or both.

Under Section 428 and Section 429 of  the Penal Code, cruelty to animals is liable to a fine not exceeding RM500 or imprisonment up to five years, or both.

SPCA KK said when reporting cases of cruelty to animals, the incident must be meticulously recorded, which includes the date and time of the incident, address of the crime scene, or the number plate of the owner’s car. Photographic and video evidence should be procured to build a strong case.

Picture or video evidence would include among others, the act of cruelty being committed, the surrounding environment, the animal abuser’s actions, and the animal’s reaction.

The five freedoms that all animals should have at all times are freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort (shelter from heat and rain); freedom from pain, injury and disease;  freedom to express normal behavior (without inconveniencing or harming others) and freedom from fear and distress. “Can you see why so many places like circuses & zoos need shutting down?”

Hence, SPCA KK is making a sincere plea to the public to be kind to all animals, pets and strays, and not to ill-treat them.

Should anyone know of or witness any abuse and killing of cats, dogs etc for consumption, contact SPCA KK at 012-8039298.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/06/05/sick-dogs-saved-from-being-suffocated-to-death/#ixzz1ws18t9u3

Malaysia saves endangered pygmy elephant on Borneo

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Malaysian wildlife authorities said Monday they had rescued a pygmy elephant calf on Borneo islandand expressed hope a planned sanctuary would provide protection for the endangered animals.

The male calf, which is less than a month old, was pulled out of a deep moat surrounding a palm oil plantation in remote Sabah state on Friday, said Sen Nathan, a senior official with the Sabah Wildlife Department.

It is the fifth calf rescued by wildlife officials since 2009. Three of those previously saved have died but a female has recovered and is now at a wildlife park.

There are fewer than 2,000 Borneo pygmy elephants left in the wild, according to authorities. A sub-species of the Asian elephant, the creatures have a rounded appearance and are smaller than mainland elephants.

The latest rescued calf, which weighed about 50 kilograms (110 pounds), was in a serious condition, Nathan told AFP.

“He suffered severe dehydration and cuts and abrasions, probably while trying to get out of the moat,” he said.

The elephant’s mother was probably forced to leave it behind after the pair fell into the moat, and the calf likely spent more than a day there before being spotted by plantation workers, he said.

Nathan said a planned elephant sanctuary on 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of land within the 26,000-hectare Kinabatangan wildlife sanctuary in Sabah would help protect the animals.

The sanctuary would be able to house up to 60 injured elephants, as well as those found when they were too young to be reintroduced into the wild.

A pygmy elephant calf on Borneo island, in Malaysia’s Sabah state (AFP, Malaysia Wildlife Authorities)

Authorities announced plans for the sanctuary earlier this month and want it open by the end of the year. “We really need this sanctuary,” Nathan said.

The sanctuary will be funded with 5.3 million ringgit ($1.7 million) from industry body the Malaysian Palm Oil Council and 1.5 million ringgit from NGO the Borneo Conservation Trust.

Wildlife activists warn that pygmy elephants are fast losing their natural habitat to deforestation and human encroachment on Borneo, a vast island shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

News Link:-http://sg.news.yahoo.com/malaysia-saves-endangered-pygmy-elephant-borneo-062043834.html

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