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Elephants enter housing area in Malaysia, sparking panic among residents

Elephants enter housing area in Malaysia, sparking panic among residents thumbnail

KLUANG, Johor: Two elephants entered a housing area in the Kluang district in Malaysia’s Johor state on Wednesday (Jan 11) night, leaving about 2,000 people in the neighbourhood concerned over the mammals’ possible return. 

An 83-year-old resident, M Pavayee Ammah, said she only realised the presence of an adult elephant and her calf after hearing a noise that sounded like a stampede in front of her house.

She went to check what was happening and was shocked to see two elephants crashing into the fence of the house, with other residents trying to chase the animals into a nearby forest.

“I was shivering with fear when I saw the elephants in the compound and also heard the residents shouting for me to not leave the house.

“Apparently, the elephants had encroached the nearby farming area earlier before being chased away by the residents and (proceeding) to the residential area here,” she told reporters on Thursday.

The elephants’ attempts to enter her house were captured in a 26-second video recording that went viral on social media on Wednesday night.

Another resident M Alangovan, 67, was worried about the recent encroachment of animals in the area.

“I hope the authorities can do something for fear of untoward incidents happening,” he said.

Johor Wildlife Protection and National Parks director Aminuddin confirmed the incident of two elephants encroaching into the Taman Perdana housing area at 9.30pm on Wednesday.

He said the mammals were believed to have been separated from their herd and his team had already taken preliminary action by chasing them to a nearby forest located about 500m from the residential area.

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“Monitoring will continue to be carried out with the use of drones to ensure that they return to their original habitat and do not stray by entering the settlement area,” he said when contacted by Bernama on Thursday.

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