Drive about an hour and a half outside of the skyscraper jungle of Kuala Lumpur, passing through the tropical rainforest, you’ll find the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. The staff at this jungle outpost have been working for the past 30 years to save Malaysia’s endangered Asian elephants.
Elephants in Malaysia have an uneasy relationship with humans, as many villagers see them as a threat to their plantations. The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, or “Elephant Orphanage” as they call themselves, takes elephants from areas where they face conflict and animals who have been injured, rehabilitates them and releases them back into a safer natural habitat.
While elephant rehabilitation has always been the center’s primary concern, they’ve recently taken on the difficult task of educating the public about the plight of Asian elephants and the importance of wildlife conservation in Malaysia.
Managed by the Malaysian Wildlife Society, the Kuala Lumpur Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary lets visitors experience firsthand the important environmental work being done throughout the country. If you’ve ever been curious about these majestic beasts or wanted to know how to help in their conservation, taking a tour of the facilities will answer many of your questions.
Tours start with a video explaining the dangerous process of sedating and capturing wild elephants to relocate them to safer nature reserves. You’ll get to see firsthand how the staff of wildlife experts take care of the elephants from day to day and prepare them for release back into the wild. While it depends on the time of year, the center often has baby elephants in its care.
Besides learning more about the ambitious efforts of the team at Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, a guided tour gives you the opportunity to see some of Malaysia’s stunning countryside and see some of Malaysia’s other native animal species up close at Deerland Park. By the time you return to your hotel at the end of the day, you’ll have a new appreciation for the world’s largest land mammal.