Poisoning feared in mysterious deaths of 10 Borneo pygmy elephants in Malaysian forest reserve

Ten endangered Borneo pygmy elephants have been found dead in a Malaysian forest under mysterious circumstances, and wildlife authorities suspect that they were poisoned.

The wildlife department in Malaysia's Sabah state on Borneo island says the elephant carcasses were found near each other over the past three weeks at the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve.

In one case, officers rescued a 3-month-old calf that was trying to wake its dead mother.

Sabah environmental minister Masidi Manjun said Tuesday that the elephants probably were poisoned. He says that if they were intentionally killed, "the culprits would be brought to justice."

The WWF wildlife group estimates that fewer than 1,500 Borneo pygmy elephants exist. They live mainly in Sabah and are known for their babyish faces, large ears and long tails.