The Orang Asli community at Kampung Kaloi in Gua Musang, Kelantan are fearing for their safety as an elephant has destroyed a house and crops of the villagers after rampaging through the village for four consecutive nights.
According to Free Malaysia Today, one of the villagers, Mustafa Along fears that the incident might repeat again in the near future since timber companies have been approved to log the areas, driving wildlife to encroach on human settlements.
Speaking to Free Malaysia Today, Mustafa said, “On the first night, it destroyed some banana trees, and on the second night, it knocked over a house but, fortunately, the family managed to escape in time.”
The villagers consist of 21 families of the Temiar tribe who are now taking shelter in a community hall they moved into after the second attack.
Mustafa said the elephant would return to the forest around 800m away after attacking the village.
He also said that while logging activities had led to human-wildlife conflict in the past, this was the first time an elephant had rampaged through their village.
“Previously, elephants would keep to their path in the forest, but after the trees were felled, they attacked the village. I believe they were looking for something to eat,” Mustafa added.
He also said that this particular elephant would act violent and charge towards the villagers if it spotted them.
Being the chairman of the Indigenous People’s Network of Kelantan (JKOAK), Mustafa is concerned that their village will be affected by the other wildlife as loggings are now approved.
Mustafa will lodge a report to the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) for further security.