Wild elephants ‘careless’ in the village, destroying Orang Asli gardens

GUA MUSANG: More than 500 Orang Asli residents in Kampung Brooke Lama, Pos Brooke here live in fear after their settlement was invaded by a wild elephant since last Saturday.

Not only that, they claimed that their residents also faced a loss of RM20,000 when crops such as cassava, bananas, sugarcane and petai cultivated by them were destroyed by the wild elephants.

The head of Kampung Brooke Lama, Rian Bujang, 48, said that the presence of wild animals had been detected entering the residential area since last Saturday at around 9pm.

According to him, the next day, the residents were surprised to find that all their plants had been destroyed by the animals, including the fence.

“We expected only one night, but instead when three days in a row our crops were destroyed by the wild animals.

“This group of elephants is still near this village causing fear for the residents to do their daily activities including going to the garden,” he told reporters here today.

Another resident of Muslan Alang, 68, said that while trying to cut in his garden, he caught a glimpse of the elephant and kept turning back because he was afraid that the animal would act out of control.

He said, this is the first time the residents have faced the threat of elephants since 40 years of cultivating crops in the area.

“The elephant is still in the nearby forest and we are worried that if the situation continues it will affect food sources and income,” he said.

As for Along Ronggeng, 59, said that the Orang Asli people do not have other jobs and depend on crops to cover family expenses.

He said, when the incident happened they were disappointed because the result of their sweat was destroyed overnight.

Meanwhile, Director of Kelantan Tourism Mohd. Hafid Rohani confirmed receiving residents’ complaints and his party will conduct an inspection visit to the area in question.

He said, the Perhilitan staff in Gua Musang will go to the location today and appropriate actions will be implemented. – MESSENGER

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