An adult male pygmy elephant was found shot dead at an oil palm plantation in Beluran district, Sabah on Saturday morning, 19 October
A team of veterinarians and forest rangers were deployed to the area to conduct a post-mortem on the animal
Tuuga said he has yet to get full details on the post-mortem results.
"From what we know, the elephant was shot dead and had its two tusks removed," he said yesterday, 20 October, as quoted by New Straits Times.
Based on initial checks, the elephant, believed to be about 25 years old and weighing 2.5 tonnes, could have died about three days ago.
The department, he added, was working closely with security forces to find the culprits.
Meanwhile, Beluran district police chief Superintendant Kasim Muda said the dead elephant had several old gunshot wounds
The bullets, however, did not pierce through the animal's skin, he said.
Malay Mail reported him saying that the post-mortem on the elephant found several old scars, believed to be bullet wounds, at its buttock, adding that the cause of the elephant's death had yet to be ascertained.
"Also, we have yet to identify those behind this. Anyone with information should come forward to assist our investigation."
The case is being investigated under Section 25(1) of Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 for hunting a totally protected animal.
On 25 September, the carcass of a pygmy elephant, killed in a similar manner, was found in Sungai Udin, Tawau: