Remembering Sheena

Stop Animal Abuse in Malaysia.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Up-date On Baby Elephant Mardos

While I welcome the story entitled “Baby Elephant On The Road to Recovery” (The Star, July 9), which is a follow-up to the original entitled “Young jumbo knocking on death’s door” (The Star, July 8), I am sad it did not address the following issues:

1. Why did tourists complain that Mardos, the baby elephant, was skin and bones long before he this accident?

2. Why was Mardos transported without following proper protocol?

3. Why was Mardos being taken for “shows”? Animals at sanctuaries are not supposed to be performing for people. Was there any money charged by Kuala Gandah staff for these “shows”?

4. Why was the baby elephant only taken to see a vet two days after the incident? With fractured bones at both hind legs close to the knees, surely he must be in terrible pain and needed immediate attention.

5. Why was Perhilitan conservation division director Siti Hawa Yatim unaware of Mardos condition, and while she did try to contact the sanctuary, why was there no one to answer her calls?

Here are the letters that appeared in the New Straits Times (online) on July 10, 2006 concerning Mardos:

NOTE: Other letters on Mardos have appeared in the STAR today. We thank all RSC Supporters who phoned and wrote letters, especially the ones whose letters were never published. Trust me, you were heard.

Mardos should have been better treated
10 Jul 2006
From Ann Ramayah, Mont Kiara


I refer to the letter “Our Experts Should Have Been Asked” from SSA (NST July 7) criticizing Shoba Mano’s comments about the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan)'s incompetence that had killed Mat Chepor, in her letter entitled “Blame It On Lack of Care And Ignorance” (NST June 30).

A local newspaper reported on July 8, 2006, about another baby elephant called Mardos dying a slow and painful death at Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Lanchang, Pahang.

Mardos was found by Perhilitan staff last July in a well in Jemaluang Johor. He was only three months old. It is believed his mother had to leave him because she had no way of getting him out of the well.

Mardos should have died in the well because he suffered a much worse fate in the hands of Perhilitan. The report said that following his transfer to Kuala Gandah, tourists complained that this elephant was all skin and bones.

Acting on the complaints, Perhilitan transferred it to its headquarters in Cheras and supposedly nursed it back to health over a period of three months and then sent this poor baby elephant back to the same hell hole he came out of – Kuala Gandah.

Why did they not investigate why Mardos was skin and bones in the first place?

Now on July 1, as Mardos was being taken to a school in Temerloh for a “show” he slipped in the truck and fractured its hind legs near the knees. The report says animal transfer protocol was not observed.

We still don’t know what sort of “show” this was. Kuala Gandah is a sanctuary, for goodness sake. Not a circus. You don’t make elephants perform at a sanctuary. People come to the sanctuary to visit and learn about them and the elephant is given freedom, dignity, respect and love.

To make matters worse, Mardos was taken to University Putra Malaysia (UPM) veterinary hospital only two days after the accident despite his severe injuries and him being in what must be excruciating pain!

His suffering did not end there. UPM veterinarians claimed his injuries “were too difficult” to fix and sent him back to Kuala Gandah. This poor baby had to endure this painful journey for nothing.

Now it was sent back to heal on its own. The report quoted a source saying, Mardos recovery would depend on his resilience to pain.

Resilience to pain? How much more pain has to be inflicted on it? It lost its mother at the age of 3 months. It was “adopted” by people under whose care Mardos was skin and bones and taken out to entertain people.

The report said Perhilitan conservation division director Siti Hawa Yatim said she was unaware of the case and all her calls to the staff at Kuala Gandah went unanswered. Surely an officer can be dispatched immediately be on the scene!

SSA says the Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) is not the body to “save elephants” as they don’t have the so-called expertise of Perhilitan. At least MNS is filled with people who genuinely love wildlife and nature!.

Note: A local daily on Sunday reported that Mardos is on the road to recovery from its injuries at the National Elephant Conservation Centre in Kuala Gandah.

Second Letter

Continue to highlight Mardos's plight
10 Jul 2006
From Dr Edlic Sathiamurthy, Nibong Tebal, Penang:


I hope your newspaper will continue to pursue the
matter regarding this suffering baby Elephant named
Mardos now kept in Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary.

I hope in the name of humanity that your news reports will touch and reach the hearts of conscientious government people and key members of the public so
that humane action will be taken promptly regarding Mardos' health condition.

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