Deer Emophant – a trip to the National Elephant Conservation Centre and Deerland Park in Kuala Gandah, Pahang

elephant conservation malaysia

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?

emo elephant
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.

emophant

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.

elephant conservation pahang

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).

snacks

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

emophant destroy
Emophant smash!

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.

elephant conservation kuala gandah

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.

champagne

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).

cat

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. :)

ferret

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:

satanic deer

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.

red ants

I did get bitten by a couple of red ants though. It turns out there’s a nest of the nasty little things nearby.

python

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.

deerland

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.

feeding deer

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. :)

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18 thoughts on “Deer Emophant – a trip to the National Elephant Conservation Centre and Deerland Park in Kuala Gandah, Pahang

    • I like snakes (of the reptilian kind). :)

      I used to pick them up back in my hometown and once over here at a plantation (baby snake). These are not poisonous, they’re actually very mild creatures who tend to avoid humans (unless startled or threatened).

      Very cold too, fun to hold.

      That’s a good question – I’ve had it in Korea (can’t taste the meat, the broth was overwhelming) but in Hanoi, I could – very gamey stuff with not much flesh to go around. :)

  1. emophant. cute, that made me smile. though it’s a bit sad to read about what caused the elephant to become emo. the one taking food from the little girl looks friendly and almost happy though. coincidentally there’s this sobering piece of news today about elephants in sabah: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57566345/ten-endangered-borneo-pygmy-elephants-found-dead-in-malaysia/
    ahh, and i love manja sort-of cats too. they make up for all their snobbish feline counterparts :D
    looks like a really fun day out with animals. it made me think of the ‘madagascar’ animated movies, somehow, and the pic with the python made me think of this: http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/awards/britney-spears-scandalous-vmas-snake-where-now-191122411.html :D

    • Indeed! :)

      I have a cat just like that too, same color and breed. It’s very, very manja with me (doesn’t like most other people though, except my dad).

      Hey, great links! The first one was very sad though – that little elephant rooting around the dead parent (?). It’s said that elephants never forget.

      Haha! Banana – I didn’t know that python had a name.

      I don’t know about these pythons killing – yes, they have the potential to, but they’re not very aggressive snakes, which makes them ideal for handling. :D

      Cheers for the read buddy!

    • Yeah me too! :)

      It’s fun to go out and pet animals once in a while, didn’t know there was an elephant sanctuary or deer park here.

      Love the cat too, it was living inside Deerland, we guessed the other animals must be used to it, or else it would have been eaten (or would have fought with) animals. :D

  2. OH MY GOSH!! And here, I just ran into a baby cobra at Kiara last Thursday. ~.~ But man, HB, you really reminded me of my Chicago friend; that dude loves snakes too and would like to rear a cobra.

    Dog meat. If cooked properly, I’m sure it can pass off as chicken or even beef…

    • Nice! A baby cobra!

      That’s not very common in built up areas nowadays. I actually have a friend in Brunei who has various terraniums full of snakes, some of them rare and extremely poisonous ones which calling a “pet” would be a bit of a stretch.

      He handles them without fear too – even though that country doesn’t even have the counter venom.

      Amazing dude.

      Hmm… I don’t think dog meat can be passed off as chicken or other common meats. Rat will pass off as chicken if cooked properly, but there’s just this unique taste and texture to dog meat.

      I ate the haunches though, but I guess the sausage form can be mystery meat. :D

  3. That’s a nice place. My daughter would love it – she loves animals, wildlife. Good thing they’re doing for the elephants…but I do believe that if the demand stops, the killing will too – like sharks’ fins.

    • Yeah I didn’t know about this place until my friend brought me there.

      I didn’t think there’s an elephant sanctuary in Malaysia. Yup, it’s good of them, rehabilitating the pachyderms. :)

      Hmm… I guess I’m a bit jaded coz of the huge consumer PPP in China and other places where “status” is considered important.

      I personally would prefer for the entire shark to be used but I won’t refuse a bowl – it seems too self righteous IMHO. To each his/her own though!

      I’ve seen people refuse for the wrong reasons (to be seen as hip and cosmopolitan) and for those I have nothing but contempt.

      I have seen people who genuinely cares – like a friend of mine, she’s not the sort to go on about it but just politely asks for it without and people like you. I have much admiration for this, it’s the right reasons.

      Cheers buddy! :D

  4. Hmm.. Never came across the Jeffrey Archer story, but Neil Gaiman did write a short piece about a bunch of epicureans who headed to Suntown in Cairo, to capture and eat the Sunbird. :)

    • Thanks for the correction! :)

      Yeah, it’s Gaiman, thought it was Archers coz the latter also writes awesome short stories.

      Cheers for that!

  5. that is very nice to have an elephant shelter..
    I never know about this place… and i like to visit it someday…
    Sometime it is good to visit such places rather than hang out in the mall during the weekends..
    wow that is huge white phyton…
    they say that white snake bring good luck..
    hope you be HUAT in this year of snake…

    • Indeed! :)

      I didn’t know there was an elephant sactuary around here either.

      I read the news about the baby elephant too – poor thing.

      Yup, I’m with you, this is a much better way to spend the weekends.

      Same to you buddy! Happy CNY! :D

    • Mmm…rat! :)

      It’s technically a mouse – a large field rodent.

      I could only find that in China so I decided to eat it. It was fun. Ate horse meat in China too. :D

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