A female elephant was killed when it was hit by a cement tanker along the East-West Highway in Malaysia here early yesterday.
The animal was in a herd of three, crossing the road from the jungle near Tasik Banding at Km32 when the accident occurred about 1am.
Grik district acting police chief Deputy Superintendent Wan Jamil Wan Chik said the 32-year-old tanker driver, from Kuala Terengganu, escaped unhurt. But the front part of the vehicle was badly damaged.
“The driver was forced to sit in the vehicle as he feared the other elephants may turn violent and attack him.
“He only got down after the elephants returned to the jungle. He later hitched a ride on a timber lorry and lodged a police report.”
Wan Jamil said the driver’s vision was hampered by thick fog and several sharp corners.
The driver tried to avoid the herd but could not stop in time as the female elephant was the last one to cross.
State National Parks and Wildlife Department officers were at the scene to investigate the incident.
Wan Jamil said this was the first such incident on the highway in the last five years.
“In the past, there had been several such accidents but no animals died.”
He advised motorists to be cautious while travelling along the highway near Tasik Banding as wild elephants would cross the road, especially at night and at dawn.