Pulau Ubin Stories

Stories, old and new, about Pulau Ubin, Singapore

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Ubin Elephant Caught

In 1991, an elephant from across the Straits of Johore visited the island of Pulau Ubin and caused considerable excitement on the island. Below is one of several newspaper cuttings taken from The Straits Times of the media coverage of the time.


Caption reads: "The chained elephant... it is expected to be brought back to Johor tomorrow"

Ubin Elephant Caught
Saturday, March 9, 1991
David Miller
The Straits Time
Image of the actual article [1.6MB]

PULAU UBIN - The elephant which injured a man and damaged a taxi on Pulau Ubin was caught yesterday morning.

The 2.3 metre-tall bull was tranquillised by a single dart fired from the rifle of a Malaysian wildlife ranger.

It is expected to be returned to the jungle in Johor tomorrow.

Early yesterday morning, experts from the Johor Wildlife Department set out to track it.

Residents on the island were asked to call the police post if they saw the elephant.

At about 8.15am, one villager did, saying that he saw the animal in the north-western part of the island.

The hunters went there immediately and found the elephant 40 minutes later.

"The elephant wasn't aggressive. It made one mock attack when it was shot, but then retreated," said Mr Tan Kit Sun, the zoo's assistant curator.

It ran off towards a clump of trees, where it collapsed about six minutes later, when the sedative took effect.

The Singapore's Zoo veterinarian, Dr Shirley Llizo, who examined the animal while it was sedated, said it was in good health.

The animal, estimated to be between seven and 10 years old, was chained to a nearby tree to stop it from moving around.

A team from the Malaysian Wildlife Department's Translocation Unit is expected to take the animal back to Johor, where it is believed to have come from, tomorrow.

To do this, a special ramp will be built leading up to a lorry. Two trained elephants will then sandwich the captured animal and lead it onto the vehicle for its homeward journey.

Even though it has been captured, the authorities are restricting visits to the island.

Police are waiting to see if any more elephants are sighted on the island.


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