Netizens Propose A 'Wildlife Bridge' After Another Elephant Was Killed On Mersing Highway
The elephant belonged to a herd that frequently crosses that highway at night.
An adolescent female elephant was found dead about 50 metres away from the 13th mile marker along Jalan Kota Tinggi-Mersing, Johor yesterday, 6 October
According to Malay Mail, Johor Wildlife and National Parks Department director Salman Saaban said the elephant, estimated to be six years old, was found at about noon by department officers who acted on information received from the public.
Based on investigations, the department believes that the elephant was knocked down by a vehicle around 8pm on Friday, 4 October
"The animal later made its way into a forested area not far from the road, succumbing to the injuries it sustained," said Salman in a statement.
The animal is believed to have died on Saturday night, 5 October, based on the wounds on its body and the state of its decomposition, reported The Star.
Salman said that the elephant belonged to the 'Gajah Panti' herd, estimated to comprise about 30 to 40 elephants, that frequently cross Jalan Kota Tinggi-Mersing, particularly at night
"Records showed that five accident cases involving the elephants, resulting in one dead animal, occurred last year along the same stretch of road," he said, according to Bernama.
Salman added that the department had already installed warning signs for motorists in 10 areas around the road which see frequent crossings by the animals.
He advised the public to be watchful and cautious to avoid running into wildlife, especially when travelling at night.
Facebook users conveyed their sympathies for the animal, while a few suggested some solutions to the predicament
On Malay Mail's Facebook post, a user questioned whether the Peninsular Malaysia Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) was doing their best to ensure the safety of the elephants in the area.
Another user criticised the building of the road which invaded the elephant's habitat, adding that preventive measures such as signboards were not effective.
These two users suggested that an underpass or wildlife bridge be built for the elephants to cross the road easily.
Wildlife crossings are structures that allow animals to safely cross human-made barriers like highways
According to Twitter user @sunfloweraidil, we too have wildlife crossings, also known as eco-viaducts, implemented in Malaysia.
The first eco-viaduct project is located in Felda Aring, Tasik Kenyir in Kelantan, while the second one is in Sungai Yu, Merapoh in Pahang, he wrote in a tweet.
"These wildlife crossings are located on where animal route movements are recorded. They generally follow elephant paths because smaller animals would follow them," he explained.
He ended the thread saying, "It is important that we preserve the forests we have now and enforce better protection for our wildlife's habitats.
"Ecological corridors can be as good as a central forest spine which connects fragmented habitats to each other, allowing animals to pass safely."
Meanwhile, in Thailand, six elephants were found dead at a notorious waterfall in Khao Yai National Park: