Tragic Demise of Orang Asli Woman: Fatally Trampled by Elephant While Harvesting Durians

By Aida Aziz

GERIK: A sombre cloud descended upon the Rancangan Penempatan Semula (RPS) Pos Kemar as news of a senior Orang Asli woman’s tragic passing reverberated through the community. The 63-year-old woman, identified as Zaitun, met an unfortunate end after being trampled by an elephant while on a durian-collecting expedition in her garden.

The Gerik District Police Chief, Superintendent Zulkifli Mahmood, divulged the harrowing details surrounding the incident. Authorities received an alarming report about the incident at 5.30 pm, igniting an investigation into the event that occurred at the RPS Pos Kemar.

According to Superintendent Zulkifli Mahmood, the findings of the investigation unveiled a sequence of events that transpired on August 13, between the hours of 4 and 5 pm. Zaitun ventured into her garden with the intent to gather the prized durians that had ripened under the sun. Tragically, her excursion brought her into an unforeseen encounter with a roaming elephant, leading to a fatal trampling incident.

In the wake of the heartrending incident, an autopsy was conducted by Hospital Gerik, rendering the cause of death as “blunt force trauma to the chest.” This unfortunate outcome has left a community in mourning.

The victim’s remains have been handed over to her grieving family members for the purpose of laying her to rest. Superintendent Zulkifli Mahmood extended the heartfelt condolences of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to the grieving family, acknowledging the profound loss they are enduring.

In light of this heart-wrenching incident, Superintendent Zulkifli Mahmood offered valuable advice to the residents of RPS Pos Kemar. He urged them to exercise caution during agricultural activities, highlighting the potential dangers that the presence of wildlife can pose. He also stressed the importance of promptly informing authorities about the presence of wildlife in the area, facilitating swift and appropriate actions to ensure the safety of both humans and animals.

The incident, which unfolded around 5.30 pm, cast a dark shadow over Zaitun’s life. The ill-fated encounter with the wild animal transpired behind her residence, leading to a tragic ending that has left the community grappling with grief and a heightened awareness of the delicate balance between human endeavours and the wild that surrounds them.

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