Sumatran Elephant, Beautiful Majestic Animal Under Threats
When hearing about Sumatran elephants, Indonesian people would associate it with the famous elephant school in Way Kambas, Lampung. Besides in Lampung, the elephant conservation areas actually also exist in Minas, Riau and Lahat, South Sumatra.
These conservation and training centers are important to preserve the Sumatran elephants, given their declining population numbers. In 2011, the IUCN Red List stated that Sumatran elephants were classified as critically endangered.
When compared with their relatives in Africa, Asian elephants, including Sumatran species are smaller in size, but they have a higher body. The weight of Sumatran elephants ranges from 2 thousand to 4 thousand kg, with a height of 2 – 3.5 m up to the back.
Female elephants are smaller than males, and when they are pregnant it takes 22 months until they give birth. Baby elephants can stand up and walk immediately after 10 to 30 minutes after labor. Sumatran elephants have an average lifespan of up to 70 years.
Elephants are very smart animal with great memory thanks to their big brain. They are gentle and caring creature, although can be intimidating too when they are under threats. Their ears are also large enough to help them hear better as well as help reduce body heat. The trunk is used to grab food and water by holding or grasping the ends that has same function as fingers to scoop up.
Sadly this beautiful creature is facing extinction due to uncontrolled forest encroachment and illegal hunting by humans. It is estimated that in the last 75 years, their population has declined by 80%. In a survey conducted in 2.000, it is estimated that their number is now only around 2.000 individuals.
Elephants have always been the target of poaching because their ivory has a high value for sale. In addition, excessive forest encroachment has disrupted the habitat of Sumatran elephants, so that many of them subsequently damaged community agriculture. This triggered resentment which increasingly triggered elephant hunting. Most of the elephants were killed by poisoning.
In order to solve this problem, some elephant conservation and training centers were built in Way Kambas, Lampung; Minas, Riau; and in Lahat, South Sumatra. Here wild elephants are educated so as not to damage the farms, and train them to help humans in their field work instead, such as pulling logs and so on. Some are trained in acrobatics to attract tourists.
This is expected to be a solution to the harmonious and dynamic relationship between elephants and humans.Until today, the elephant training center was recorded to have sent around 300 trained elephants to various parts of the country and also abroad.
If you come to Bali Safari Park, Sumatran Elephant is ready to welcome all visitor at the bathing pool or more exciting while their show at 12.00 on elephant Show.