THE MALAYSIAN ELEPHANT CENTRE
AT KUALA GANDAH (PAHANG)
There's another elephant
sanctuary near Terengganu: Sungai Ketiar (see the menu -
located near Lanchang (there is a
small road heading north, just before a BP station), then left at the next
intersection. From this point on just head due north and there are enough
signposts to guide you. It's in the center of Peninsular Malaysia. About 150 km
or no more than 2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.
The sanctuary is managed by the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and
This centre was
established in 1989. It
offers visitors a hands-on introduction to the largest mammal on earth. Worker
elephants are trained to help "guide and mother' others during the relocation
process to National Park wildlife sanctuaries. Visitors are invited to help
bath them in the shallow river or ride them. The juniors have sense of humour,
so watch out for a dunking as you try to clamber up their backs!
base for the Elephant Relocation Team which started in 1974. Being the only
centre in Malaysia, the team is dedicated to locating, subduing, translucent
problem elephants from areas where their habitats are constantly being
encroached by plantations, to Malaysia's National Parks such as Taman Negara.
Over the past 25 years the team has
successfully relocated around 400 elephants to national parks, bringing the wild
elephant population in Malaysia from an alarming low of 500 to about 1200
Approaching the wild elephant
The primary role of the
'Translocation Team' at the centre, is to capture wild elephants that are
encroaching on plantations or population centres and to relocate them to
When a wild elephant is found to be encroaching on farms or population centers,
the Elephant Translocation Team is called out. Their first task is to track the
wild elephant and tranquilize it, a job that can take days or even weeks. Once
the elephant is tranquilized, the next challenge is to move a huge, groggy and
generally uncooperative animal out of the jungle and onto a waiting truck. This
is when the team relies on their two 50-year-old translocation elephants, Chek
Mek and Mek Bunga, to lead the wild elephant out.
Mentompian, a 26-year-old female from Burma, and Abot, a teenage female from
Johor, are both being trained to replace the 2 aging elephants.
Chek Mek and Mek Bunga lead the wild elephant out.
Without the help of translocation
elephants, it would be impossible to get the wild elephant out of the jungle.
The two elephants position themselves on either side of the captured elephant
while the team attaches chains around its shoulders. Chek Mek and Mek Bunga then
slowly and safely move the captured elephant out of the jungle and onto a
waiting truck. The captured elephant is taken by road, and then often by barge,
to one of a number of protected natural areas where it is set free.
On the truck
If you're lucky enough to get over there, the
guides make every effort to allow visitors to ride and bathe these wonderful
Make an early visit to enter the compound of
the elephants and roam with them while looking closely at their habits - but
only with the Elephant Man - the very own elephant expert. Hiring the Elephant
Man means that the fees you pay for his services, first hand experience and
knowledge means, that you will help him continue his volunteering services
during his free time for the 14th year!
All activities begin at 2.15pm. If you head for the sanctuary on your own, or
with a tour guide but with the Elephant Man - its really up to you when and what
you'd like to be there and do!
Save the Rainforests...and you save the flagship animal of the mighty
Lumpur, take the highway to Lanchang.
Exit Lanchang. Pay toll and turn right. Now, it's a straight road to Kuala
Gandah. Don't mind the signs: Kuala Lipis or Bentong. Just go straight to
Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre.
By Rail :
KTM Bhd provides service to Bandar Jengka and Jerantut.
A Sri Jengka
Express - Kuala Lumpur (Jalan Tun Razak) to Bandar Jengka,
Kuantan to Bandar
Jengka, Kota Baru to Bandar Jengka, Alor Star to Bandar Jengka.
What to do?
- Ride the elephant
- Feed the elephant
- Bath with elephant