Last month, The Sanctuary welcomed visitors from Sabah, Malaysia, through our international partnership with Wild Welfare.
JoeFred Lansou (Fred) and Ruhaizama Ruslan (Ijam), wildlife rangers at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Penampang, worked closely with The Sanctuary's Care Staff over four weeks to enhance their knowledge of Protected Contact Management and operant conditioning. Staff demonstrated how Caregivers work closely with the Veterinary Team to develop individualized care plans and how the elephants participate in their care at the training wall. In addition, they had an opportunity to learn how, by using soft bamboo target poles, vocal cues, and favored snacks, the elephants are taught to present their feet, ears, tusks, and bodies for inspection and care . “We have never seen an African elephant before, and we were surprised how easy they are willing to train and how smart they are,” said Fred. Their goal was to take the experience back to Lok Kawi to incorporate aspects of The Sanctuary’s care practices there. When asked what item they wish they could take back with them, they said, “The big red Boomer ball for enrichment! There are many young elephants at Lok Kawi, and it would be very good for them to play with this.”
In addition, The Elephant Sanctuary was grateful to have hosted Malaysia delegates Mary Isidore Malangking, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Sabah Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Environment; Dr. Augustine Tuuga, Director, Sabah Wildlife Department; Dg. Nur Zilah Hassilah Ag Kachee, Senior Assistant Secretary, Sabah Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Environment; and Halimah Haji Hassan, Senior Product Manager, Sabah Tourism Board. The group was able to tour our facilities and watch Care Staff as they performed foot care and trunk washing, among other healthcare practices. They praised The Sanctuary’s Staff for their work and dedication to the elephants. “Thank you for giving us such a wonderful experience at The Sanctuary and an opportunity to witness African elephants!” said Nur Zilah. Halimah also raved about the training Fred and Ijam got to experience. “We were happy to see what Ijam and Fred have learned during their time at The Sanctuary and to have witnessed the care and training at Africa Barn. It was such a memorable experience!”