It is disheartening that some humans cannot appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of nature without feeling the need to destroy it. Such is the tragic story of Sabá.
Sabá, a rare elephant with inverted tusks and a pygmy top, was discovered in Malaysia, immediately raising concerns among local environmental authorities. His extraordinary physical characteristics made him a target for numerous hunters who saw him as a prized trophy, prompting organized expeditions to end his life.
Fortunately, the authorities managed to find Sabá during a routine inspection of a park in Malaysia, anticipating the hunters. Recognizing the value of his life, they decided to protect him by relocating him to a sanctuary.
Sabá was found in a palm plantation in the state of Sabá on the Island of Borneo, hence his name. While the use of chains to capture him was regrettable, it was necessary to ensure his safety during transportation to the sanctuary.
Sabá’s unique tusks resemble those of a saber-toothed tiger, although they are unrelated. The exact reason behind the inverted tusks remains unknown, possibly being a congenital condition or a result of inbreeding, as suggested by Sen Nathan, assistant director of the local environment department.
Sadly, Sabá had to forfeit his freedom, at least temporarily, as he was placed in a sanctuary for his protection. The authorities intend to equip him with a geolocator device, allowing him to be released in a semi-free zone near the sanctuary. Monitoring him will help deter hunters from targeting him, as well as safeguarding him from potential harm. However, nothing can guarantee his safety, as hunters often lack morality and are even willing to harm humans who stand between them and their coveted trophy.
The presence of Sabá with his distinctive tusks adds an intriguing aspect to wildlife observation in Sabá. Nevertheless, the upside-down tusks may interfere with his interactions with other elephants, potentially reducing his ability to defend himself against attacks.
A study conducted a decade ago estimated that there were around 2,000 elephants in Sabá. However, the species is now facing threats due to hunting, wildlife trafficking, and the encroachment of human populations into their habitats.
Sabá will remain in the sanctuary for an extended period, where he will be studied and protected. The authorities hope to place a tracking device on him in the coming months, although acquiring such devices can be challenging due to their high costs and bureaucratic procedures.
We long for the day when humans can admire nature without the sadistic desire to possess and destroy it. We hope for a time when humanity understands that not everything can be measured in monetary value and that animals do not exist solely for our disposal. Let us strive to be a species capable of appreciating and preserving the wonders of nature, respecting their intrinsic value and ensuring their survival.