The Malaysian state of Sabah is determined to ramp up elephant conservation efforts. CNA looks at the challenges of protecting these mammals both in captivity and in the wild.

Captive Bornean elephants at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, near Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. (Photo: CNA/Chris Pereira)

KOTA KINABALU, Sabah: On the morning of Dec 25 last year, Joe Fred Lansou, 49, entered the elephant enclosure at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Sabah, like he has done for the past five years.

But this tragic Christmas Day would also be the last time that the head of Lok Kawi’s elephant unit saw his beloved mammals.

Lansou apparently entered the enclosure alone before treating an injured elephant calf. The next thing workers knew, he was lying on the ground.

Lansou had been gored to death by an adult elephant named Kejora, known as Joe among handlers. The park, near K...