Dances with Elephants

A Linking Awareness Adventure at Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra

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Way Kambas National Park in Lampung province, southern Sumatra, Indonesia, despite decreasing populations, still has a number of critically endangered Sumatran Tigers, Sumatran Elephants and Sumatran Rhinoceroses.

Eco-tourism has a significant positive influence on the lives of the animals in the park. Revenue from park visitors buys extra feed and continies to influence more benevolent treatment of these “Sentient Beings”

Threats to the park are posed by poaching and habitat loss due to illegal logging. Conservation efforts include patrolling and the establishment of the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary and the Elephant Conservation Centre.

The Elephant Conservation Centre (ECC) has been established in the 1980s. The elephants in the centre have been domesticated and used for heavy work, ecotourism, patrol and breeding. The ECC will be provided with an Elephant Hospital which will become the first of its kind in Indonesia and the largest in Asia. The elephant hospital will be built on a 5-hectare area with a Rp10 billion ($1.11 million) investment and expected to initial operations in 2014.[1]


Hospital built for elephants in Lampung

Indra Harsaputra, The Jakarta Post, Lampung | Archipelago | Tue, January 31 2012, 2:59 PM

 The Indonesian government is cooperating with privately owned Taman Safari Indonesia and the Australia Zoo to build an elephant hospital in the National Park of Way Kambas in Lampung.

The hospital has been developed in an attempt to prevent Sumatran elephants from becoming extinct.

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan says the hospital will become the first of its kind in Indonesia and the largest in Asia.

“Elephants that sustain injuries from clashes with humans can be treated here. The elephant hospital can also serve as a research center for elephant conservation,” he said here on Tuesday after a groundbreaking ceremony.

Zulkifli also called on locals to work together to preserve the livelihood of elephants.

“We are asking for people to leave elephants alone, not to hunt them down or clear land designated for elephant conservation,” he said.