This truly unique Elephant Orphanage of Kuala Gandah in Pahang will give you a very rare opportunity to learn about these displaced gentle giants. For the brave and adventurous, there are opportunities to take the elephants down to the river and help give them a bath!
Daily tours from Kuala Lumput. Package rates start at RM 220.00 per person for a private tour minimum 2 persons.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
More information of the Kuala Ganda Elephant Sanctuary
Malaysia is split into two parts both by the South China sea. Both of Malaysia's territories are home to two of the sub species of elephants. Peninsula Malaysia is home to the mainland Asian elephant (Maximus elephas indicus) and Borneo is home to the so called pygmy elephants (Maximus elephas borneensis). Malaysian Elephant Population Figures
Elephant Range 45,000 km² approx (includes Peninsula and Borneo combined)
Country Ranking 4th of 13
Total Wild Elephants 2,351-3,066 total
1,251-1,466 - Peninsula
1,100- 1,600 - Borneo
Country Ranking 4th or 5th of 13
Total Captive Population negligible
Country Ranking Joint 10-13th
Source: R Sukumar - A Brief Review of the Status, Distribution and Biology of Wild Asian Elephants Elephas maximus- International Zoo Yearbook 2006
While this information source is considered the very best available, accurate data on wild elephant populations is difficult to obtain and scientifically verify.
Wild Elephants in MalaysiaPeninsula Malaysia
Historically elephants were found in large numbers throughout the densely forests Malay Peninsula. However ver the past 100 years the forests have steadily given way to agriculture for both food and cash crops. The wild elephants have progressively receded from the south and west. Initially forest clearance paid no heed to the need for elephant corridors to allow for trans migration and this gave rise to a considerable human-elephant conflict and the destruction of valuable crops.
The Malay authorities response was to set up the Elephant Management Unit in 1974 under the authority of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. This unit has established the world renowned Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre. The unit has become highly specialised in elephant translocation in response to human elephant conflict, moving elephants to he eastern Malaysian states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang where there is still a large amount of forest, some of which is protected as part of the vast Taman Negara National Park.
Using translocation elephants have been completely removed from the state of Perlis, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. In total some 500 elephants have been translocated over 25 years.
Forest clearance is now much reduced and takes place only after a lengthy planning process which takes into account elephant migtation pattern and habitat requirements.
The translocation policy appears to have been successful in maintaining a healthy elephant population and reducing human-elephant conflict.
Wild elephants are being moved to the eastern states
The elephants of Borneo were only accepted as a totally separate sub species in 2003 after scientists concluded that they were genetically different from their mainland cousins. Borneo is still home to large areas of forest which provides real hope that a healthy wild elephant population has a sustainable future. The elephants of Borneo are known to migrate between Malaysia and the Indonesian province of Kalimantan. Currently the Department of Wildlife and National Parks are working closely with the WWF to ensure the survival of Borneo’s elephants.
Borneo's elephants are known as Pygmy Elephants on account of their diminutive size
Domesticated Elephants in MalaysiaHistorically Malaysia did have something of a domesticated elephant tradition based around the palaces of the Malay Sultans however this culture began to fade out in the 19th century.
Domesticated elephants were revived in 1974 because of the requirements of the Elephant Management Unit. Six mahouts and four khoonkie elephants (those trained to capture wild elephants) were brought over from Assam to train rangers how to control and capture wild elephants. Today the unit maintains 8 elephants to help with its operations.
Malaysia has a registration scheme for all elephants in captivity, mainly in zoos. Currently there are 36 elephants on the register.
Malaysia maintain 8 elephants for wild capture operations
Malaysia’s approach to elephant conservation has been well thought out, scientifically based and methodical in its approach. The translocation of problem elephants has mitigated the effects of human-elephant conflict found elsewhere and ensured healthy sustainable elephant populations. In the future as long as further deforestation is limited it should be possible for Malaysia to maintain a healthy elephant population on both the Peninsula and in Borneo.