Sunday morning (27 September) we made our tracks to the Pekan campus of Universiti Malaysia. It is in the district of Pahang and a four-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. This campus was our home for the next four nights. From here we commuted to the Pekan Primary School each day. Universiti Putra Malaysia provided us with a comfortable coach for the week. This coach made a big difference to our travel.
On the way, we stopped at Kuala Gandah – a unique elephant sanctuary in Malaysia. “The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) established National Elephant Conservation Centre in 1989. The centre is the base for the Elephant Unit, which began the elephant translocation programme in 1974”. Read more Trip advisor has more details about Kuala Gandah.
As we entered the park, we viewed a short documentary that highlighted the challenges faced by a team of dedicated Malaysians to relocate displaced elephants from their habitats and into national parks. This task is no easy feat and I commend all those who are involved in this significant work.
The elephant show was interesting – many members of our team got a chance to feed the elephants with pawpaws. Some of the tricks that the elephants and their trainers demonstrated was equally interesting.
Perhaps the highlight was an opportunity to bathe the elephants. As the photos below show – it was an exciting time for those who participated in this activity. It was fun just to seeing the elephants enjoying the moment.
It was late in the afternoon when we checked into our rooms at the university. For me, it reminded me of the life that I had on campus when I was a student in Fiji. It brought back some good and bad memories. Other than the heat and the possible threat of being bitten by mosquitos carrying the dengue fever virus, all else was good. We were set for a good start at Temai Primary School.
Photos: Ibnu Isa and Richard Medland
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