Monday, March 21, 2016

Explore Wildlife in National Elephant Conservation Centre @ Kuala Gandah, Pahang

13 March 2016 - Finally, manage to book Mr Federico time to have a one day trip in the weekend. This time round, we decide to keep our baby in my mom's house, as both of us want to enjoy the trip, plus, it is not suitable to bring baby to bath the elephant in the river right?

We took a Tour 51 package, which it included a short tour to Batu Caves Pewter, a lunch, and then go straight to Aboriginal Village and National Elephant Conservation Centre. The good thing about taking up a tour package is that you do not need to worry about driving and the transport. Uncle Vino is in charge of taking us and another young girl, Antoine from Canada. He briefly telling us where are we going, and share more infomation about the Elephant Conversation Centre.

Before I forgot, better I write down what to bring and what to wear upon visiting National Elephant Conservation Centre.

Attire: casual shirts and shorts, flipflop/ slippers

What to bring: sunblock, hat/ cap, sunglasses, water, snacks, towels, and additional shirt and shorts. As you will be interested to join the water activities.

This time round, I bring all, but not the towel and shorts. Uncle Vino brought us to a local supermarket nearby and we ended up buying the towels. So, please remember to prepare all the above.

930am - Leave Malaysia Tourism Centre. Reached Batu Caves Pewter K.L Sdn Bhd - Arts & Crafts Store. We were welcomed by this Cchinese guy (sorry, forgotten his name). He offered us to enjoy water using a pewter cup. It looks like a small wine cup during those ancient China centuries.

We were then being lead to a room where he explained how their pewter was taken from the mining area in Perak. He explained how to recognize a fake pewter, which is not really in silver metal, but if it appears in dark faded black colour, that is a fake product.

How long can a pewter withhold the temperature of the liquid? pewter can maintain 45 minutes of the exact same heat temperature, as well as 1-hour of cold temperature.





Surprisingly, little did I know, at the bottom of the pewter, thus it is the onyx, an astrological gemstone many types of which are used as astrological substitutes for primary gemstones. Onyx pewter is good for health, luck and blood circulation. It is not widely being sold, only limit to selected shops. You can shop for onyx pewter gemstone at here.

They are strictly again photography, which is why you do not get to see much photos from the internet.



Batu Caves Pewter K.L Sdn Bhd

Tel: +60 3-6188 1989
Add: No 1, Lorong Perusahaan 3, Taman Perusahaan Kimpal, Batu Caves, 68100, Batu Caves, Selangor, 68100, Malaysia

To reach here: https://goo.gl/maps/NTDdYnGJaus

Landmark: Not exactly in Batu Caves. you need to turn right upon the traffic light, when Batu Caves is at your left.


And here we go, heading for lunch in Karak, Pahang. Fell asleep till we arrive for lunch. Lazy Sunday huh?
It was an 1 hour drive.

11am - Reach Kwong Soon Roasted Pork Shop.








As you can see, you get tot order roasted chicken, white chicken, roasted pork, char siew (bbq pork), and all can be served with the chicken rice.






All roasted meat lining up...

And this is our lunch!






Not bad. noticed that the bbq pork colour is slightly different from the pork in KL. He gave us the char siew (bbq pork) part that comes in half fats and half meat.

I was surprised that I couldn't find the address from google Map or even Waze.

Hence, here is my best shot:

Near to Karak new village, Karak, Pahang
GPS: 3.4132460, 102.0352520
Jalan Wijaya, 28600 Sabai, Pahang, Malaysia

*If you happened to know the shop lot number, please do tell me in the comment box or email me, so that I can update the full address in my blog.

Off we go, next to National Elephant Conservation Centre.

12:20pm - we reach National Elephant Conservation Centre, registered and paid some minor fees. I am not really sure how much are the fees, because it is included in our tour package, but I check it is RM 2 per person online.

12:30pm - As we are waiting for the video show time at 1pm, we explore the Orang Asli Village/ Aboriginal Village. Nothing much to see, plus we do not want to disturb the residents there. Uncle Vino telling us: "Do you want to go into their house? Either they invite you for a meal, or they cook you as a meal!" Haha.




This is a rough 'interior design' and build-up of a normal wooden house by the aboriginal. As you can see, . the roof were made from leaves, the floor was made of wood, and the 'wall' is made of strong bamboo and



I shared a joke in my social media stating we bought this house. Cannot believe people buy what I say, and telling me wow, so cheap, haha!

I believe the Orang Asli tribe used to put on a simple stage show to showcase their culture. However, it is very quiet upon visiting.



This is how it's look like from the outside.







Creative I would say. See the concrete house with blue rooftop? It was build by the government to give the Orang Asli/ aborigines to stay in a better place. funny the aborigines build and extend a berendah/ balcony, served as a place to chill, lol; or probably they still miss their original wooden house design.




I just found this painting on the wall interesting. It shows a family of three (father, mother, kid) and how father protects his family by shooting the enemy using sumpitan. The sumpitan is a blowpipe, a hollow bamboo tube through which poisonous darts. coconut tree represents one of the palm trees in Malaysia.



National Elephant Conservation Centre, Kuala Gandah, Pahang

National Elephant Conservation Centre was established in 1989 by The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) . The purpose of the centre is meant for the elephant translocation programme in 1974. The centre serves as a centre that carries out public awareness activities related to the conservation issues of elephants in Malaysia. From here, you will get to learn about the importance of the species and habitat protection. It also supports research activities which are related to elephant translocation and conservation. But funny though, I do not know why some people refer the place as 'Elephant Sanctuary'. It should be named as 'National Elephant Conservation Centre'.

Although most of the saved elephants are in Taman Negara, you will get to see a number of trained elephants, both baby and big wild elephants. These elephants are trained and used in translocation exercise throughout Peninsular Malaysia. The good thing is that the centre also looks after orphaned elephants.

The elephants that you see in the centre and in Peninsular Malaysian are the Asian elephants species (Elephas maximus), which is listed as a critically endangered species, with only less than 1,200 wild elephants in Peninsular Malaysia, which is why it is critical to protect the endangered species.





As for now, more than 700 wild elephants are then relocated to safer habitats including Taman Negara National Park, The 130 million years old virgin rainforest. However, when you promote wildlife, more tourism will come, hence, more accommodation property will be built. I feel that too commercialised might defeat the main purpose to protect the wildlife. Let it stay as natural as it is. Building more resorts or hotels, and high traffic of tourism, well, guess you know what will happen in future.





Elephant skeleton...didn't know why this photo turn out with dimmer green light...It was not supposed to be spooky, oops...




Some fun facts that I mark down in the elephant 'museum' area, before we went in for the video show:

  • Asian elephants are more similar to mammoths than African Elephants. 
  • Asian and African elephants are rooted from elephantidae, a family of large, herbivorous mammals collectively called elephants and mammoths. 
  • Mammoths is 4.8m tall, while the Asian is 2.4-3m tall. 
  • A single elephant tooth weight more than 4kg, and it will be only to replace the pair of molars up to 6 times through their lifespan. elephants are very close with their family roots, when they knew their time has come for them to go away from the world, somehow they manage to find back their ancestral burial ground, and stayed there to spend their remaining days. So, if your house were built on elephant's ancestral burial ground..... 
  • Elephant trunk is 1.8m, made of nose and upper lip, and elephant can suck up to 8l of water using its trunk! 
  • elephant skin is 2.5cm, but they have paper thinned ear. they fan their ears to cool their body down. African elepahtns ears are 3 times larger than the Asian elephants. 
  • Elephant's legs are rounded like pillars, and they have 'cushion' like shock absorber. 
  • Elephants will be able to walk at 6km speed per hour, and travel up to 20,000km per year.




1pm: Visitors are encouraged to view a video presentation on elephant translocation activity which was filmed in 1996 together with the National Geographic. The video documentary shows how the DWNP team started to locate and translocate elephants from deforestation areas where their habitats are being threatened by the habitat change and modern development. another reason being is that due to habitat loss, elephants are forced to hunt for food in areas surrounding forests such as plantations and orchards. This has cause a threat to the human when the elephants started to raid crops on a massive scale, not to mentioned the economy loss from the damage. This is why the translocation team has such a huge responsibility to catch and relocate these elephants in order to minimize the damage and also to prevent harm to the elephants. The video showed how the rescuer transferred wild elephants to Taman Negara, Pahang.

1:30pm - It's baby elephant feeding time! We went to a stall nearby to buy peanuts and sugar canes. There was another group brought the whole bunch of bananas. Do you know elephant is herbivor? As if I am the only one who don't know right? Just joking....




Can you see the baby elephant behind me? I was so nervous to feed them!

Asking my husband to take photo of me with the elephant but failed so many times. Finally, a tour guide in the centre teach us how to get bst angle of me feeding the baby elephant. This is the photo:



See me screaming, haha! Well, you can feel the rough trunk skin, and the way they breathe in and out heavily.




I was trying to throw peanuts into the elephant mouth, so that I can see it opened it's mouth widely. There is a technique, the tour guide assistant said something like "vui" and lift up your arm, and the elephant will open its mouth, but I failed to throw the peanuts into their mouths, not a good 'shooter', till the american lady next to me, "yes, you are bad in doing so." I think she meant that stop fooling the elephant around. Federico grabbed a whole bunch of peanuts, and when the tour guide ask the baby elephant opened its mouth, Federico threw most peanuts into its mouth. Hooray!

2pm: There was an elephant performance. Elephant conservation talks at interpretive stage. Visitors will be introduced to each of the elephants which include their background and ability.

Note: Please be informed that there is no elephant rides provided in this centre.



See this photo? notice this big elephant doesn't have tail? It was attacked by a tiger, and the tiger bit off its tail. it survived and saved by the rescuer of The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP).

We get to see the elephants waved back at you, lying down, picking fruits, and many more.



Next, you get to feed the big elephants with fruits....They were really big compared with the elephant babies.

2:30pm: We moved from the stage area to few berendah/ park shelters. Bathing and cleaning of elephants by mahout, a person who works with, rides, and tends an elephant. Oh ya, each elephants are led by a mahoput during the stage show as well.




You can see elephants having fun doing their 'champagne shower'. Delighted to see 'Jumbo' splashing water.





One of the elephant totally 'dive' and dip into the shallow river.

3pm: get to see the workers feed the baby elephant with milk. It is like a hugh bottle, and less than 5 minutes, the baby elephants finish the whole bottle.





3:15pm: It's our turn to bath the baby elephants. See Federico's face, he has phobia with water. I told him the water is shallow, probably only till our knee level, only then he agreed to go down to the shallow river with me.




So cute. The staff will assist us in taking photos as we bathe the baby elephants in a group. A group of 5 people are just nice. What you need to do is grab the sand from the bottom of the river, scrub it on the elephant body like a scrub massage, and spalsh some water on the baby elephant.





The video below shows my fun day, yeepee! such a wonderful experience, exploring part of the wildlife.






YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXiGxJhvUQQ

If you prefer to see my whole day travel guide, here it is:

9am: reach Malaysia Tourism Centre
9:30am: visit Batu Caves Pewter K.L Sdn Bhd
11am: Lunch at Kwong Soon Roasted Pork Shop, Karak, Pahang
12:30pm - Reach National Elephant Conservation Centre. Visit Orang Asli Village/ Aboriginal Village.
1pm: video documentary show about the elephant relocation activity
1:30pm - Baby elephant feeding time
2pm: There was an elephant performance.
2:30pm: Elephant shower time
3pm: baby elephant drinking milk time
3:15pm: join along to bath the baby elephants
4pm: leave Pahang and drive back to KL.


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Official website: http://wildlife.gov.my/index.php/en/pusat-konservasi-gajah-kebangsaan-kuala-gandah-pahang.html

NECC is looking for donation to sustain the centre, as well as volunteers who love elephants. It takes as much as RM 100 per day to feed the elephants.

National Elephant Conservation Centre (NECC)
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP/PERHILITAN)
Kuala Gandah, 28500 Lanchang
Pahang Darul Makmur

Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/65ZBHuLrFjA2
Waze: https://www.waze.com/livemap?zoom=17&lat=3.59252&lon=102.14501

Tel: 013-9790272 Counter: 013-9088207
Fax: 609-2790398

Email: necc@wildlfe.gov.my

Website : www.wildlife.gov.my

If you are interested in getting the tour with a tour agency, so that you can sit back and relax, while they do the rest. You can consider Tour 51.

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