KOTA KINABALU: A school in Sabah, Malaysia has called for better protection after an elephant strayed into a canteen at its premises on Thursday (Mar 1).
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Telupid said after the incident that it wants a concrete wall built around its compound which is currently surrounded by barbed-wire fencing.
"The elephants did not seem to pose a danger before. But now, the students’ safety is at risk,” said the school principal Rukimin Sulit.
The elephant strolled into the school on Thursday at around 6am according to the New Straits Times (NST), apparently in search of food, leaving students and teachers in a state of panic.
Beluran district police chief Superintendent V Shivananthan said no one was injured in the incident, the report added.
The incident was captured on video.
The elephant was part of a herd that had been roaming in the area around the school. This is not the first such incident, the report said.
A herd of marauding elephants have been constantly rampaging the small district in Telupid since last year and were relocated to forest reserves three times before this incident.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the department had sent its personnel to tackle the situation including the sighting of the elephants on Dec 18 which had destroyed villagers’ crops and properties.
So far, the efforts in relocating all the elephants were not fruitful as the elephants kept coming back and damaging properties at the Telupid police station and SKM Telupid, he said in a statement on Friday.