I went on a road trip to Kuala Gandah in Pahang over the long weekend to check out National Elephant Conservation Center. I didn’t even know there was an elephant sanctuary in Malaysia!
We had planned to go to Chiling Falls, but that was nixed due to the closure of the route. Thus, on the night before, the four of us – Suanie, Marco, Joyce and yours truly drove down on one of our impromptu road trips. Well, to be precise, Suanie drove.
I was quite intrigued to find an emophant in the elephant conservatory.
What is an emophant?
Emophant is emo.
The elephants in this sanctuary are all rescued from the wild – from poachers of their prized tusks. Thus, you can see that all of them don’t have tasks. This place saves elephants but sometimes, quite a few die coz they’re beyond salvation after running into illegal poachers wielding sharp instruments for cutting off their lucrative tusks.
I heard this from one of the rangers in the park. There are actually quite a lot of deaths before they could be saved but what they’re doing is admirable.
Naturally, after a nasty experience of being cornered by men with the intent on separating them from their appendages, the wild pachyderms takes a while to recover.
Some are more resilient, and it’s good to feel the sensitive elephant’s trunk around your hands – they can be fed peanuts or sugar cane (all sold at the premises).
Others, like the emophant, takes a while to recover and it’s a little sad to see that poor huge beast standing by itself in the corner. :x
I have to say that I’m no saint though, I felt really sorry for the emophant but given a chance to try out elephant meat, I would. I don’t see why dead carcasses cannot be butchered and sold with profits going to the care of the ones that are alive (they’re dead anyway).
I’m no stranger to eating dogs – I’ve done so twice, once in Hanoi (where there’s an entire street dedicated to it) and once in Korea. I’ve also eaten a huge rat in China. I do like exotic game meat and I’ll try everything once.
No point in bashing me for it, there’s plenty of that on my YouTube video of the dog meat trade – just do what you feel is right and you’re good. I don’t get pressured not to eat certain stuff, my personal stance is that while education about brutality is good and all, it’s really a personal choice – cows are sacred to the Hindus, yet people all around eat steaks with abandon and on the secular side of things, there’s horrendous egg farms for chickens but yet a lot of people eat eggs.
I do not judge and my policy is simple – education for the future generation and personal choice. Getting your panties all in a twist about it is kinda like the War on Drugs – pointless. It benefits some people (keeps the DEA and the likes in their jobs) and afford a holier-than-thou podium for people who wants be in the limelight but ultimately the mantra of “When the demand drops, the supply would too” is a slippery slope.
I have already quit that particular chapter in my life and I can piss as clean as a whistle now. I don’t want any part of it anymore, but that’s just my choice. I won’t look at you askance if you enjoy a toke or two on the weekends.
Anyway, back on the subject of elephants – I heard you can also take a bath with them beside a nearby stream. It sounds like a fun thing to do, but it seems like the place has become a tad commercialized according to Suanie – it used to be quite rustic, but that is the way of the world.
The next stop on our trip was Deerland Park.
I found a really cute cat that really made my day. She looks a lot like Champagne (a cat I had when I was in my early teens – would cuddle her for hours each night and she drinks from the same glass of milk as I do, something which horrifies my parents).
The cat is very affectionate and I picked it up and walked with it for a bit. I like the warmth and the soft purr of a feline in my arms. I’m a sucker for cats like this. :)
There are a lot of other animals in Deerland Park, like this ferret. I thought this was a hilarious pose (geddit?).
However, the main thing to see there are the deer. It looks a lot like goats to me, especially this Satanic looking specimen:
You get a bowl of carrots and other mixed vegetables and you can feed them. It’s fun!
I reckon the bigger ones were getting really aggressive and snagging all the food so the trick is to take multiple carrots with both hands and make sure the smaller deer are fed while ensuring the larger ones gets distracted.
It’s fun to feel their lips and it’s remarkable how they can sense what to bite and what not to, like the elephants.
I did get bitten by a couple of red ants though. It turns out there’s a nest of the nasty little things nearby.
Deerland Park is also where I took a photo with a very huge python. I’ve been to the Snake Temple in Penang and I found it apt that I kissed and was blessed by this snake before the Chinese Year of the Snake. :D
I like snakes. I used to own a ball python. I’ve also eaten snake before, including a cobra that I haven’t posted yet.
There’s a story about epicureans who managed to eat a phoenix in a story by master storyteller Jeffrey Archers. I highly recommend that book, bought it in London one of my trips there.
It’s a fun place to go to and just a short drive away from KL – both places are listed in Google Maps. I really liked the emophant – entrance fee to the National Elephant Conservation Center is free (donations are encouraged) and Deerland Park cost RM 28 for the four of us. It’s a good find and a fun place to spend a couple of hours during the long weekend.
There’s actually nothing much to do in both places, just a chance to pet and see the animals that makes up the name of the places. I guess that’s the appeal of the place, plus I haven’t been to both places before and I have been wanting to take a road trip for a while. :)