Pygmy elephants are slowly heading towards extinction. Less than fifteen hundred of these wild beasts remain.

The sad thing is, no one is making an effort to save them.

While some of these elephants are dying due to natural causes, many of them become victims of brutal violent acts, and their most recent casualty proves that. 

Recently, a group of travelers in Malaysia came across a dead pygmy elephant near Borneo Island.

Initially, they thought that the creature was alive because it seemed like it was drinking water.

However, its body remained stationary for an extended period, making the travelers realize that something was off.

They went close to the animal to probe it with a stick.

However, it did not come to that as they witnessed more than seventy bullet holes on its rotting corpse.

They immediately informed the authorities about this, and the local wildlife department wasted no time in arriving reaching the location.

The professionals were as shocked as the travelers were as the wounds on the elephant’s body indicated that it suffered for hours before losing its life.

However, the team didn’t jump to conclusions and took the body to their lab for performing a comprehensive post-mortem.

Retrieving The Body

Pygmy elephants are significantly heftier than your average elephants. Their bodies are broader, and trunks are longer too.

The wildlife team faced a massive challenge in retrieving this creature’s body, as half of it was underwater.

They had to bring an enormous crane and attach several cables to its corpse to pull it out and carry it to the laboratory.

The people present at the location created even more problems for the professionals as they wanted to take pictures and make videos of the lifeless animal.

Fortunately, the local authorities cleared the scene and allowed the wildlife team to do their job without any disruption.

Online Backlash

People who captured the animal’s images to get their fifteen seconds of fame got something else entirely.



Most people expressed their anger claiming that making a media circus out of the situation was not the right thing to do.

They also communicated their sorrow for the elephant, stating that countries should focus on having stricter trophy hunting laws to preserve wildlife.

Some online outlets did the right thing by banning users who posted the dead beast’s photo excessively and prohibited them from re-opening their accounts.

What Did The Wild Life Experts Find In The Autopsy?

It took the autopsy professionals more than a week to determine what caused the creature to die.

While bullet wounds are a dead giveaway for the elephant’s cause of death, many people like to fire their bullet on dead animals and other objects.

However, once the results came in, the experts were sure that multiple gunshots were indeed what killed the wild beast.

During an interview with a local television station, one of the autopsy examiners claimed that the first ten bullets subdued the animal but didn’t kill it.

The perpetrators most likely fired the rest of the shots to make sure that the creature was dead.

He further stated that while the elephant immobile after the first few gunshots, it was in unspeakable pain and suffered through all seventy of the bullets.

Why Did The Perpetrators Kill The Endangered Animal?

Sadly, animal hunting is not uncommon in countries like Malaysia and Africa.

Malaysian territories, in particular, are a well-recognized hunting ground for people looking to prey on endangered pygmy elephants.

Some of them do it for leisure, while others kill these creatures for their tusks.

Several black markets in Asia purchase these tusks for millions of dollars.

They believe that they contain therapeutic and restorative properties for several diseases.

As far as the elephant we are talking about goes; no one is certain why the perpetrators killed it.

The tusks were missing, but quite a lot of pygmy elephants do not have teeth.

Hunters often tranquilize the creatures and pull them apart.

In other cases, the beast doesn’t grow mammoth-like tusks due to poor nutrition.

Investigators believe that a new group of poachers killed this elephant.

Experienced poachers often remove the tusks by subduing the animal temporarily or finish it with two or three lethal shots to the head.

With several bullet wounds present all across the creature’s body, it seemed like the people who took this elephant’s life were new to hunting.

The bullet residue present inside the wild beast’s body indicated that the perpetrators used a semi-automatic rifle to do the job.

It further proved that the killers were first-timers as experienced hunters use tranquilizers or shotguns.

Is Extinction Imminent?

With less than fifteen hundred pygmy elephants remaining, it seems like they could go extinct in less than a decade.

However, countries, where these animals exist, can prevent this from happening by stepping up and enforcing strict measures to protect their wildlife.

Illegal animal poaching is becoming more and more prevalent.

It is a million-dollar industry, making it a lucrative option for buyers and hunters.

What makes things even worse is that some members of wildlife protection services are secretly involved with underground organizations that buy and sell various animal parts.

While some countries are trying to take the right steps to prevent poaching, there are several bad seeds involved in their animal preservation departments.

With that said, some experts proposed an excellent idea to help save this species.

They want to collect all fertile pygmy elephants across the world and keep them in a safe enclosure.

It will keep them out of harm’s way and provide the creatures a platform to breed. 

While putting the endangered elephants away from their natural habitat sounds cruel, the plan, if carefully implemented, could help save the pygmy species in the long run.

Eventually, there will be enough of them to release in the open.

Sadly, hunters will still loom large, and safeguarding the wild animals from them is a massive task for wildlife departments.

 

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