Thursday October 18, 2012
Elephant conservation centre suffering after new wildlife Act enforced
TEMERLOH: The Kuala Gandah Elephants Conservation Centre, which used to allow rides and bathing with the pachyderms in the river, is no longer an attractive tourist draw, said a state executive councillor.
Datuk Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said he had received complaints from people in the tourism sector that such activities had to stop after the Wildlife Protection Act 2010 was enforced.
The Lanchang assemblyman said tour bus operators, souvenir shops, taxi drivers, tourist guides and other related tourism sectors were affected by the new ruling of the Wildlife and National Parks Department to stop the activities with elephants.
“The Act has driven operators to cancel bookings made by tourists to visit the centre and to other tourist stops in their tour package, such as the nearby Deerland and Biodiversity Centre in Bukit Rengit.
“Some clauses in the Act have also affected other tour-related operators throughout the country, including the crocodile farm in Malacca and the butterfly centres in Perak,” added Mohd Sharkar, who chairs the Pahang state information, science, technology and innovation committee.
He was speaking to reporters after meeting a delegation from the Zoo Operators, Breeders, Wildlife Entrepreneurs and Animal Hobbyists Association here yesterday.
Mohd Sharkar said the Pahang Government was concerned about the situation as the elephant conservation centre had generated a lot of spill-over income to the locals.
“Locals as well as foreign tourists look forward to the experience of riding on an elephant's back and bathing with the wildlife in the river,” he said, adding that the matter was discussed last week at the state executive council meeting.
“It will be discussed again to save the livelihood of the locals and the tourism sector in the state.”
Mohd Sharkar said he and a delegation from P4HNM would bring the matter to the attention of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak next week.