1 Tahrcountry Musings: The mystery of the Borneo pygmy elephants solved

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The mystery of the Borneo pygmy elephants solved

The origins of the pygmy elephants of Borneo, found in a range extending from the northeast of the island into the Heart of Borneo, have been a mystery. A new paper published in peer reviewed Sarawak Museum Journal has added a new twist to the whole story. I found this paper very interesting. According to the authors the population could be the last survivors of the Javan elephant race, accidentally saved from extinction by the Sultan of Sulu centuries ago. The looks and behaviour of Borneo elephants differ from other Asian elephants. The authors propound the theory that the elephants were brought to Borneo centuries ago by the Sultan of Sulu, and later abandoned in the jungle. It now transpires that this translocation in history that has survived to modern times could provide scientists with critical data from a centuries-long experiment. The detailed study is bound to throw up lot of possibilities for future conservation initiatives.

Earl of Cranbrook
1, J. Payne2 and Charles M.U. Leh3

If you are keen to read the entire paper click here

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