Malaysia seeks more tests for dead pygmy elephants
KUALA LUMPUR (AP) - A Malaysian official said on Friday that an initial chemical analysis on 14 Borneo pygmy elephants that died mysteriously came back inconclusive as to whether they had been poisoned and that tests would be conducted abroad.
The endangered elephants were found dead last month in a protected forest in Sabah state on Borneo. Sabah is home to most of the remaining 1,200 Borneo pygmy elephants that exist worldwide. The elephants are feared to have been poisoned because they encroached on Malaysian plantations.
Sabah Environment Minister Masidi Manjun said the state's wildlife department would send samples to forensic testing facilities in Thailand and Australia for more comprehensive tests to determine the cause of the elephants' deaths.
"To ensure greater transparency of the entire issue, my ministry will be seeking a second opinion from other laboratories," he said in a statement.