In 2005 The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary was created, an subsequently dubbed Sabah’s Gift to the Earth, the sanctuary was created to increase forest wildlife connectivity along the Kinabatangan River.
Now Conservationists worry that a second bridge being planned over the Segama River in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary will cause further harm to the critically endangered animals there.
Lands near Sukau include some privately-owned forests are being cleared, for what researchers believe will become the site of the pending construction of another bridge
This land was set aside to protect several charismatic species such as the orangutan, the elephant and the proboscis monkey, some of which have since become iconic species in the fight to save our planet's wildlife.
The Elephant and Orangutan State Action Plans 2012-16 clearly states that any process that will further fragment the habitat of elephant and orangutan population such as highways and bridges must be prevented.
For the past 12 months, activist has clearly demonstrated with scientific facts and data that the bridge and the road would have a direct impact on wildlife populations, especially elephants, orangutan and proboscis monkeys.
The new road that would subsequently follow the bridge will cut off the last remaining uninhabited route for elephants near Sukau, which will have catastrophic consequences for both the animals and the people.
The new construction of the road and bridge would also, inevitably lead to major human-wildlife conflicts.
As wildlife Planet has reported on numerous occasions, these conflicts on many occasions have lead to deaths to both sides. Many of these encounters end up with Elephant attacking people and Elephants being shot or poisoned by residents and farmers.
But not everyone is against the Bridge
Thousands of locals want to see the new bridge built as soon as possible, according to a local headmen and various village chiefs who staged a brief mass protest recently outside the Sabah Wildlife Department office in Kg Sukau.
The first phase of the plan involved securing the funding for the 800 foot bridge spanning the Kinabatangan River from Sukau to Jalan Moresem on the other side, complete with a new paved road.
The second phase involves a separate 3/4 mile flyover across the wildlife sanctuary with another paved road attached to it.