Rare sighting of elephant with reverse tusks

KOTA KINABALU - A rare Bornean bull elephant with its tusks in a reverse position is causing a stir among wildlife rangers sent to translocate it from plantation in Sabah's east coast.

The Wildlife Department's Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) rangers spotted the 20-year-old bull elephant near the Felda Umas plantation in Tawau yesterday morning.

Department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said it was only the second such elephant he had seen with tusks pointing backwards.

"It's very unusual," he said, adding that the elephant was likely part of a herd from central Sabah that eventually moved towards the east coast.

Wildlife officials here are holding discussions with experts about the possible reasons for this phenomenon and this could include in-breeding.

Dr Sen said the bull elephant was among three pachyderms that the WRU was translocating from the plantation to an undisclosed location.

Department director William Baya said human-elephant conflicts had been on the increase in recent years at elephant habitats.