Elephant dies after being hit by tour bus in Malaysia

The carcass of the elephant on the side of the Gerik-Jeli Highway in Malaysia.
The carcass of the elephant on the side of the Gerik-Jeli Highway in Malaysia. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

IPOH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Some two months after an elephant calf was run over and killed, another pachyderm, this time, a 10-year-old bull, died after it was struck by a bus on the same stretch of the Gerik-Jeli Highway in Malaysia.

This is despite the many signboards put up to warn motorists about elephants and other wildlife crossing in the area.

The elephant was killed after it was hit by the tour bus early yesterday, as it was crossing at Kilometre 59 in Gerik.

Pictures of the carcass at the scene and the bus with its cracked windscreen and damaged front end were widely shared on social media, angering many animal lovers and conservationists.

Some asked how the driver had failed to spot such a large animal.

Gerik OCPD Supt Ismail Che Isa said the bus was driven by a 62-year-old man and that the incident occurred about 5km from the Titiwangsa rest stop.

"The bus was going down a slope and heading towards Gerik when the elephant suddenly came out of the forest. The driver told us he could not brake in time," he said.

He said the elephant fell over on impact and then got up and walked to the left side of the highway. It sat there for awhile and then died.

Supt Ismail said the elephant suffered lacerations on its head and back.

"The bus driver and his 33 passengers were not injured," he said, adding that the Perak Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) has been informed of the incident.

In June, a two-year-old elephant was crossing the highway and was killed when a car collided with it.

State Perhilitan director Loo Kean Seong said the area is an elephant habitat and that the animals are always roaming, no matter the time of day.

"So motorists must be careful and drive cautiously along that stretch. Please also do not speed," he said.

The carcass will be sent for a post-mortem and its tusks will be removed before burial.