Group calls on authorities to ensure elephant safety

KUALA LUMPUR – The Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants has called for the authorities to ensure that elephants in the forest areas close to human settlements are safe.

Meme stressed the importance of providing safe passages for elephants, and attracting them to grazing areas located away from human settlements.

Dr Wong Ee Phin is the principal investigator of the group. She said that her team works with sustainability teams and estate managers of oil palm plantations in order to design ways for plantations to coexist peacefully with wild elephants.

There are many opportunities to promote wildlife friendly measures. Working together to protect the environment, people, and wildlife is essential. She said that some large plantations are capable of transforming conflict into coexistence.

“A coalition allows for the synergy and sharing of ideas on the ground.” We are talking about large areas of work in the districts Kota Tinggi and Mersing. Dr Wong said that we needed many more stakeholders to join or support the effort.

Meme was shocked by the death of an elephant in Kluang, Johor this month. Four elephant carcasses found on June 1 in Kampung Sri Timur were allegedly the result of villagers taking matters themselves after the animals damaged their crops repeatedly.

The elephants were reported to be from the Bandar Tenggara Herd. They roamed Lenggor and Kluang, Kluang Tambahan and Sembrong forests in Johor and Taman Negara Endau Rompin forest reserve in Pahang.

Meme said that it was working with plantations in order to identify elephant movement paths and secure potential grazing areas. It also aims to engage with other state and federal government agencies to connect elephant movement routes within and outside plantations.

MEME is looking to expand into other states and to attract more non-profits and plantation partners. MEME also explores the use of artificial intelligence to develop early warning systems prototypes that will help protect people and elephants, it stated.

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