Jumbo 'cafe' mooted to curb human-elephant conflict in Perak


IPOH: A special “cafeteria” for elephants is among the ideas suggested to the Perak government to help reduce human-elephant conflict, says an exco member.

State health, science, environment and green technology committee chairman Mohd Akmal Kamaruddin said the suggestion was made during his meeting with some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) a few weeks ago.

“I was told that the same concept was done in Thailand where the elephants need not travel far to find food and just roam around a 'cafeteria'. Perhaps we can visit Thailand to see how it's done and maybe do the same thing here,” he told reporters after launching the Central Forest Spine Showcase at the Casuarina Convention Centre here on Thursday (Aug 18).

ALSO READ: Orang Asli woman in ICU after an attack by elephant while looking for durian

Akmal said the state is also considering the use of alarms and electric fences around the Pos Kemar Orang Asli village.

"The village is among the places that wild elephants often enter. We are considering surrounding the village with an electric fence," he said.

“However, there are a number of factors to consider, especially the maintenance costs and lack of manpower to monitor the area.

“I had a meeting in Kuala Kangsar with 10 Tok Batin (Orang Asli village heads) and the Department of Orang Asli Development to discuss it and we are still trying to find solutions," he said.

“We will also visit Johor, where we were told that there is an Orang Asli village equipped with an alarm system to warn the villagers of wild animals, so perhaps we can implement the same thing in Perak,” he said.

The electric fence could cost about RM1mil to set up, he added.

On Aug 6, a video of a wild elephant passing through Pos Kemar went viral.

And earlier, on Aug 1, a 30-year-old Orang Asli from the village was injured after she was attacked by an elephant.

Separately, Mohd Akmal said two recreational spots, namely Kledang Saiong Forest Eco-Park here and Lata Iskandar waterfall in Tapah, will be equipped with early warning system (EWS) technology to detect geological movements.

“The system cost about RM400,000 per unit and the allocation was provided by the Federal Government,” he said, adding that more recreational spots, especially eco-parks, will be equipped with EWS in the future.

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