It is sad to know that due to development and inevitable progress, the Asian elephants'(Elephas maximus) natural habitats are being disturbed and slowly destroyed. Imagine there are only 1,200 wild Asian elephants roaming around the Peninsular Malaysia and 40,ooo in whole Asia. And if their habitats are continously ruined, these poor elephants may face extinction as we know it and will be just a history that we can see in books, magazines and internet.
Thankfully, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia has been doing thorough efforts through the National Elephant Conservation Centre or also known as Kuala Gandah Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary in saving and relocating these displaced gentle giants including the orphaned ones.
Established in 1989, the National Elephant Conservation Centre has trained a number of elephants from Thailand and Malaysia for help in transfering wild elephants from their old dangerous habitat going to a newer and safer habitat within Peninsular Malaysia specifically in the protected natural habitats such as Taman Negara (National Park) and in Sungai Ketiar, Terengganu. Please do watch the video show to know more about how they save elephants.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), “Protecting the Asian elephants help to safeguard thousands of other species within its habitat. The elephant creates vital natural pathways by knocking over trees, allowing smaller species to feed, as well as dispersing plant seeds via its dung. However, due to habitat loss, elephants are forced to hunt for food in areas surrounding forest such as plantations and orchards. This initiate human-elephant conflict when they started to raid crops on a massive scale. This is why the translocation team has such a dire responsibility to catch and relocate these elephants in order to minimize the damage and also to harm to the elephants.”
I love animals and I’m really thankful to AirAsia Philippines and Tourism Malaysia for bringing me to this place. It was actually my first super near encounter with the elephants and I really enjoyed the experience so much. So let me share with you my experience during my visit to the National Elephant Conservation Centre.
Upon arrival and registration at the centre, our group went straight to the video room because the presentation already has started. Luckily, we were still able to watch the main points of the video documentary about Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia and National Elephant Conservation Centre’s joint effort for elephant translocation activity. The said video presentation was filmed year 1996 together with National Geographic to educate the public regarding the importance of different species, how they are interrelated and habitat protection.
VIDEO SHOW SCHEDULE:
|Monday – Thursday||First show : 1.00 pm
Second show : 1.30 pm
Third show : 2.00 pm ( Friday only)
|Saturday, Sunday and Public holidays||First show : 12.30 pm
Second show : 1.00 pm
Third show : 1.30 pm
Just outside the video room, there’s a mini gallery(museum) about elephants, including a display of an elephant’s skeleton.
Here’s a short video before my very first elephant feeding experience.
So excited to feed the #elephants here at the National Elephant Conservation Centre. ? #AirAsiaInKualaLumpur #Malaysia #MalaysiaTrulyAsia #TourismMalaysia #TeamMalaysia #PahangMalaysia #Pahang #GirlandboythingPh
Feeding elephants was really fun. Just a reminder, only feed the elephants with the official food being sold in the centre which is just a few steps away from the feeding area. For the sugarcane its RM 3 per pack and for the peanuts, it’s RM4 per pack. Or you can feed them with fruits like papaya and watermelon. There are 6 elephants that you can feed in the feeding area.
There’s another feeding opportunity with the elephants after the centre introduced each of the elephants’ background and ability to the visitors. They also prepared free chopped watermelons for everyone. Weeee! another feeding sesh. By the way, Do not forget to wash your hands after feeding the elephants. There are faucets nearby that you can use.
Just in case you get hungry after feeding the elephants, there’s a cafe there inside NECC where you can grab some quick meals.
Going back to the activities, have the opportunity to watch the cleaning and bathing of elephants. These elephants are soooooo cute! They’re like todlers playing in the pool. How I wish I could bathe them myself. Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of time. So maybe when I get back, I will. There used to be elephant riding activity for the visitors, but it is no longer available.
When you’re done with your activities at NECC, you may go to this elephant-shaped standee at the entrance and stick your visitor’s sticker to it. Join the fun guys hehehe!
Entrance is FREE. But it would be nice if you would extend your helping hand by donating any amount to the Elephant Trust Fund, so that the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia and National Elephant Conservation Centre in Kuala Gandah can continously enhance their existing facilities for research and development. With these efforts, more elephants can be saved! You may contact NECC for more details.
National Elephant Conservation Centre (NECC)
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP/PERHILITAN)
Kuala Gandah, 28500 Lanchang Pahang Darul Makmur
Email: [email protected]
HOW TO GO THERE:
The National Elephant Conservation Centre at Kuala Gandah is a 2-hour drive away from the city of Kuala Lumpur.
From KL, take the Karak Highway heading towards Lancang District, passing the Karak Village along the way. Once in Lancang, you should be able to see a BP gas station by the side of the road. Turn left into the road before the gas station, then follow the ample road signs along the way and head towards Bolok. You will pass an Orang Asli settlement and at the end of that road, you will reach the Kuala Gandah Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary. The journey takes between 2 to 2 1/2 hours and is 160km from Kuala Lumpur. (Source: http://www.malaysia.travel)
I suggest, to prevent from getting lost is that you go there by joining or availing an organized tour.
By the way, Air Asia Philippines will soon have Manila-Kuala Lumpur flights 3x daily starting Oct 29, and Cebu -Kuala Lumpur flights 4x weekly starting Oct 30, 2016. So plan your trip and #VisitPahang the soonest!
I really enjoyed going to this place. Hopefully, in the near future, I can go back again to try other activities and donate as well to save more elephants. Hope you could include National Elephant Conservation Centre in Kuala Gandah in your itenerary when you visit Pahang, Malaysia.
For more information and inquiries about other destinations in Malaysia, you may contact Tourism Malaysia at:
Address: 9th Floor, No. 2, Tower 1, Jalan P5/6, Presint 5, 62200, Putrajaya, Malaysia
Telephone Number: +603-8891 8000
Email: [email protected]
#VisitPahang2017 #MalaysiaTrulyAsia #TourismMalaysia #AirAsiaInKualaLumpur