Media Statement 27 September 2018
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) welcomes the Perak State Government’s proposal to establish a Elephant Sanctuary at KM20 Gerik-Jeli Road nearby the Perak-Kelantan border.
However, SAM expects that the area of 40 hectares proposed for the sanctuary would be unable to address conflicts between humans and wildlife, especially elephants. The area of the proposed sanctuary would be able to serve as a place to manage and conserve the wildlife only rather than as an area for roaming and natural habitat.
If the State Government aims to reduce the conflict between wildlife and humans, the wilderness areas for roaming and natural habitats need to be preserved and protected. It should also be noted that the elephant roaming area and habitat that still exist in the state of Perak is along the Titiwangsa Range forest complexes, stretching from the north of the Perak - Thailand border to Sungai Siput in the south.
For example, the excision and destruction of the entire Chior Wildlife reserve, part of Piah Forest Reserve and Korbu Forest Reserve had caused frequent conflicts between wildlife and humans, especially in Lenggong and Sungai Siput.
Among the Permanent Reserved Forests in the state of Perak that still exists as elephant habitat and roaming area are Royal Belum State Park, Gerik Forest Reserve, Amanjaya Forest Reserve, Temenggor Forest Reserve, Papulut Forest Reserve, Air Cepam Forest Reserve, Piah Forest Reserve and Korbu Forest Reserve.
SAM hopes that the State Government will not exploit forest areas, particularly do not excise permanent reserved forests in the Titiwangsa Range forest complex.
S.M. MOHAMED IDRIS