Wednesday, October 26, 2011

History of Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

Elephant Sanctuary Kuala Gandah

Lanchang  Pahang Malaysia


Mobile Hotline  : +6012 369 5862

Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre, or popularly referred to as the Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary, is located within the bio diversified-rich and protected Krau Game Reserve & was set up in 1989 under the DWNP , manned by the Elephant Capture & Translocation Unit  

The Teris River acts as a natural border between the  reserve and the Che' wong Orang Asli village
- the last tribe of its kind found in Malaysia. The name Kuala Gandah is, itself,  taken from the small stream running near the electric compound enclosure which houses the elephants during the day from 830am to 2pm before they are transferred to the roofed holding area.

Prior to this arrangement, the ECTU  was a mobile operating team since  its establishment in 1974 with a temporary base at the Jengka Pusat plantation where a huge area of jungle was carved to make way for the planting of oil palm and rubber trees and given to poor families to work on as a means of  eradicating poverty
amongst the rural folk and to rid of  subversive hideouts during the communist insurgency days in the 1970s.

The clearing of the jungles created consistent confrontations between the wild elephants and the settlers.
The unit remained there untill 1981 before it moved to Kuala Lompat on the north eastern side of Krau Game Reserve.

However, it must be noted that cutting down of the forests here are done for the overall benefit of the people of Malaysia within the poverty line and compared to any other countries in the world - Malaysia has THE BEST record in forest preservation AND reforestation.

Find out the world's 10 BIGGEST CULPRITS that keep on warming up the fragile world and yet blames Malaysia for supposedly cutting down all the forests.

ECTU's dedicated and never ending function is to the continued protection and translocation of wild elephants, from areas where there is conflict between wild elephants and humans, into bigger and safer jungle reserves land while educating locals on the correct steps to protect their farms whilst supporting wildlife conservation.

This unit is one of its kind in the world where the possibilities of being charged or trampled
by enraged wild elephants happens for 2/3 weeks every month! It is a thankless job where only a very tiny percentage of  the general public is aware of the existence, dedication and sacrifices these magnificent men make every month in order to provide a win-win situation for both the wild elephants and the human planters!

Currently, there are 32 full time and 6 contracted staff working, living in and near the centre complete with housing facilities. Water is supplied and piped in from the upper reaches of the cool, clear and clean Sungai Batu waterfalls which lies within the gazetted " Protected Areas " of the Krau Game Reserve  while
electricity supply is on a 24 hour basis.

Although the sanctuary was set up in late 1989, it was only in 1997 that the general Malaysian public and the world knew of its existence, thanks to the far sightness of a very good friend of the sanctuary, who is often referred to as The Elephant Man!

Not only did he suggested, created activities and led surprised visitors to this sanctuary, but unselfishly invited
the media, tourist guides and travel agencies to see what the  sanctuary has to offer as he realised that
the sanctuary IS for everyone!

The rest, as they history.

If you do meet him here during one of his volunteering visits - feel free to ask anything there is about the sanctuary and elephants over a cup of tea and he will make your day a very unforgetable one for you!
Be warned though - he will try his best to convince you to pass the good word around and get material donations for the ETCU!

For that, a BIG thank you, Mr Elephant Man!

Even tour guides and travel agencies have benefitted tremendously from the unselfish efforts of the sanctuary's No 1 EleFriend! The sanctuary certaintly needs more sincere help from interested individuals and organisations!

Objectives of the Centre
- Overall
For the continuos conservation of the elephants and its habitats through sustainable management in tandem
with the aspirations of the country.

- Immediate
1)   Ensuring of the protection and management of the elephants and its habitants
2)  Enhancing the public's knowledge,awareness and support on the importance of elephant conservation.
3)  Managing the Centre as a centre for Research and Education as well as an economic & eco-tourism
      activities site.

The Centre has also played guests to interns/volunteers with veterinary, zoologial and eco-tourism
and/or business/marketing OR hands-on living skills backgrounds from Czech Republic, the UK,
the US, New Zealand, Slovenia, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany and Canada, not only
to offer their skills and knowledge for the conservation of elephants but, in exchange, to learn more about
the local culture, conservation efforts and the host country.

However, all volunteering & internship opportunities have since been stopped for an indefinite period as
a result of various problems caused by an insensitive, ignorant & " ugly " North American towards not only
the culture and the community @ the sanctuary but also towards several visitors.

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