Elephant food bank in the works in Johor, state assembly told

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) is developing an elephant food bank as a long-term effort to overcome elephant-human conflict, says K. Raven Kumar.

The state tourism, environment, heritage and culture committee chairman added that the presence of the elephant food area would allow the largest land mammal to concentrate there in search of food.

He said Perhilitan was working together with a public university in conducting mitigation studies and identifying suitable areas to be used as the elephant food bank within the animal corridor.

“Kluang is a district that often receives complaints related to human-elephant conflicts. This is because the area is close to elephant habitats and corridors, including in Kahang," said Raven.

"A total of 33 human-elephant conflict complaints were received from January to October this year in Kluang, Perhilitan having identified the elephant group,” he added.

Raven Kumar said this in his winding-up speech during the state assembly meeting held at Bangunan Sultan Ismail here in Kota Iskandar on Thursday (Nov 30).

He added that the group of elephants was estimated to be 25 to 30 and often enter the area.

Raven Kumar also said as many as 120 control operations have been carried out in Kluang regarding the elephant-human conflict.

“The state government, through Perhilitan, has made various practical efforts in the management of elephants in Johor following the elephant-human conflict,” he added.

Raven Kumar said the disturbance of the group of mammals until now was not only concentrated in agricultural areas but in settlement areas that were close to the wild animal natural habitat.

“In dealing with this wildlife conflict, Perhilitan has carried out various mitigation efforts to overcome and reduce the number of complaints from the public received every day with various methods," said Raven Kumar.

He said that these steps include control and monitoring, planned population management, shooting to scare it away, catching and relocating elephants, construction of elephant ditches and construction of an Elephant Electric Fence System (SPEG).

Raven Kumar also said that he would be discussing with state agriculture, agro-based industry, and rural committee chairman Datuk Zahari Sarip on farmers, who have suffered losses due to elephant activities, to find a solution to the issue.

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