Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kenyir Elephant Sanctuary

At Kenyir Elephant Sanctuary

A female calf named Suria

Good girl Suria!

Fun elephant ride

Getting down from the elephant is so easy

Up, Close and Personal with Mr. Elephant

Recently, I stopped by at an elephant sanctuary situated in Kenyir and it's only about one hour drive from my house in Kuala Terengganu. I did not know about the elephant sanctuary and happened to know about it when we passed by it that day on our way to Cameron Highland via Kenyir. I learnt that it was newly opened and is a new attraction in Kenyir. When I stayed in Pahang eight years ago, my house was only 30 minutes drive from the popular Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. We made frequent visits to the sanctuary during the weekend and that was when I started to become so interested in elephants.

An elephant sanctuary such as the one in Kenyir places elephants which are trained and used in trans location process of wild elephants in problem areas throughout Peninsular Malaysia. The centre also looks after orphaned or injured elephants to ensure their continued survival. Besides that, the sanctuary also serves to boost public awareness on the need to protect our wildlife.

That day, we only stopped at the Kenyir Elephant Sanctuary for about 20 minutes as we were rushing to Cameron Highland. However, my children were so happy to get the opportunity to be up, close and personal with the elephants again after about 5 years.

At the sanctuary there was an orphaned female calf which attracted our attention. Her name is Suria. She is only a calf but needs more than 100kg of food daily. She eats bread for breakfast, sugar cane for lunch and fruits like water melons, papaya and potatoes while corn is for her dinner. I learnt that the rangers would let Suria roam in the nearby jungle every four days to familiarise her with the jungle surroundings and also to help her to herd with the wild jumbos in the area.

At the elephant sanctuary, we can also enjoy elephant ride. I wanted so much to experience the fun ride but had to change my mind when my husband signalled to me that we had to leave. I would definitely go there again in the future.

Cool and Fun Facts about the life, behavior and personality of Elephants

- The elephant is the largest of all land mammals
- Life Span - elephants can live for up to 70 years
- Elephants normally walk about 4 mph
- Elephants are able to swim for long distances
- Elephants spend about 16 hours a day eating
- Males leave the herd between the ages of 12 and 15
- The elephant's eyes are small and its eyesight is poor
- Despite the size of ears the elephant’s hearing is poor
- African elephants have bigger ears than Indian elephants
- African elephants ears are used to aid ventilation
- One of the softest parts of their body is at the back of the ears, which is called the knuckle
- Elephant trainers, called Mahouts, use their feet to steer or give commands to the animal via the knuckle at the back of the ears. Read more about elephant.

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