The barbaric lengths poachers are willing to go to for a payday has again been highlighted as a highly endangered Borneo pygmy elephant has been found dead with 70 bullets in its carcass and its tusks removed.

The male elephant was found floating in a river in Sabah, Malaysia, last week after fisherman discovered the corpse tied to a tree.

A post-mortem discovered the poor creature had been shot 70 times at close range, including a shot in its left temple. This was most likely the bullet that killed the animal.

It’s unclear how long the poor creature was left to suffer before dying or in what order the bullets penetrated the elephant’s body, however the examiner said the death would have been instantaneous with the shot in the temple.

According to reports by the MailOnline, Sabah Wildlife Department Director Augustine Tuuga said the animal’s death was ‘cruel’, regardless of the length of time it was left to suffer.

A fisherman alerted local authorities, who used machinery from a nearby farm to pull the body out of the water. It was then taken for a post-mortem, to confirm the extent of the poachers’ vicious acts.

Police are now on the hunt for a group of at least four or five poachers who they believe are responsible for the gruesome killing.

It is believed that only around 1,500 pygmy elephants currently survive in the wild, and the species is completely protected under Malaysian law.

Anyone found guilty of killing a pygmy elephant could be jailed for five years or face a fine up to $60,000.

Pygmy Elephant – JJSmooth44

Meanwhile, a series of images of pixelated animals to show how many there are still in existence based on the number of pixels used, has been going viral.

The campaign is called ‘Every Pixels‘ and shows pixelated images of various endangered species’, and the more pixelated the image, the closer it is to extinction.

The pygmy elephant is extremely difficult to make out, due to decreasing numbers.