As the world reels from the COVID-19 pandemic, a total lockdown has caused most human activities to grind to a halt. Malaysia is no exception to this. Most Malaysians have been ordered to stay and work from home. But for the Sabah Wildlife Department Wildlife Rescue Unit, deemed an essential service, it’s work as usual.

A 2-year-old elephant was rescued from Lahad Datu by Sabah Wildlife Department on April 10. Plantation workers saw the baby elephant wandering nearby and alerted the manager who placed an emergency call to Sabah Wildlife Department. A team from the Wildlife Rescue Unit was dispatched immediately and successfully captured the elephant.

They discovered the elephant had bad infections in both eyes, which may have affected her vision, causing her to wander from the herd. Field medical treatment was given to the infected eyes and preparations were made to transport her to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park for proper medical treatment.

A special holding crate was made overnight by workers at Ladang Sahabat, which belongs to Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad. The crate made it possible for quick transport from Lahad Datu to Kota Kinabalu. The transportation took place overnight to avoid further health complications, such as heat stroke, if done during the day.

Veterinarians at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park have treated the infection. The elephant is responding well to treatment and has eaten well. The early prognosis is that there is a good chance that she will recover her eyesight.

In appreciation of Ladang Sahabat’s quick actions to save this baby elephant, her caregivers have named her Sahabat. 

 

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Wildlife Rescue Unit operates under the Sabah Wildlife Department. It is fully funded by the Malaysia Palm Oil Council (MPOC) and the British conservation group, Orangutan Appeal UK.

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