A pygmy elephant was shot dead on Borneo island after it destroyed villagers’ crops, a Malaysian wildlife official said Thursday, the latest of the endangered creatures to be killed.

The male elephant, believed to be about four years old, was found Monday by the side of a road in the state of Sabah, on the Malaysian part of Borneo. He said the “merciless” killing was carried out near a remote settlement, and authorities were investigating who was responsible. “(The elephant) was killed out of revenge for destroying crops,” he said, adding the crops included palm oil trees. He said the creature’s tusks remained intact, indicating the elephant was not killed by poachers seeking to sell its ivory on the black market.

At least 18 pygmy elephants have been killed in Malaysian Borneo since April, The Star newspaper reported. Causes of death included elephants being targeted by poachers and poisoning.

Story via: @wildaware

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