The mahouts from Che Wong tribe

Seth Akmal

FOR the last 10 years, the Orang Asli from the Che Wong tribe in the peninsula have been training as mahouts or elephant keepers with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre in Pahang.

The programme not only teaches the Orang Asli how to take care of elephants but adds to their skill-set. It also benefits Perhilitan to recruit those most familiar with the lay of the land as well as establish a working relationship with indigenous groups.

The Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre is currently home to 25 elephants rescued from across the peninsula. When the centre rescues an elephant, a mahout will look after and train the animal for three years. – March 5, 2018.

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