FEAST YOUR EYES on the pictures above! I finally went to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary today. It was an hour’s drive away from Petaling Jaya and a very worthwhile trip indeed. Being our first time there, me and my boys never expected anything as fun as this!
To go there, you need to take the Karak Highway. Okay – to make it simpler, drive as if you are heading towards Genting Highlands, but passing its entry. Then pass by Bukit Tinggi and follow the signboards that say BUKIT LANCHANG. That’s your exit. After that, just follow the signboards and you’ll enter into a tarred road within a secondary jungle. You’ll arrive at a signboard that says KUALA GANDAH ELEPHANT SANCTUARY (3km) and DEER LAND (2km).
I decided to pay a visit to Deer Land first. Entry is RM6 per adult and children…. sorry, can’t remember! Anyway – upon paying the entrance fee, you will be given a sticker each to paste on your shirt. This is to verify that you are a Visitor.
The first sight that greets you would be, of course – the deers. Here, you are encouraged to feed them with cut potatoes (free), and touch them. They are gentle creatures. My youngest boy however, was terrified of them. If you are there with young children, make sure you protect them from over-enthusiastic deers rushing towards you for food. They can push a young child over!
Within the vicinity, you can play with other animals there like the Bengal Cat. It’s exactly like a Garfield Cat!
There’s the honey bear which you can feed and pet too. And the Ferret, which is always asleep during the day. For the more daring, try having a python coiled around you. My sons ran at the sight of it!
THE ELEPHANT SANCTUARY
Entry into the Elephant Sanctuary is purely by donation only. In short – it depends entirely on your generosity. I donated RM50 for us and the charming Malay lady manning the counter was beaming away!
You will be treated to a short educational video about the pachyderms. Then – it’s off to the Elephant show where these pachyderms will show off their skills. Yes, you can feed them for free. Anyway – your donations will go towards the maintenance of the sanctuary, the staff’s wages and more importantly – food for the elephants.
The highlight of the place would be where you are dunked into the cool river. My sons loved it and my eldest boy told me he could see the elephant laughing and enjoying tossing its riders into the river!
PLEASE READ THIS
To know more, please visit http://www.myelephants.org/.
WHAT MY SONS LEARNED ABOUT THIS TRIP
Unlike being in a zoo, where you can only observe the animals from afar – you can touch and interact with the animals. And unlike the Zoo, the animals here are not stressed. In fact – the sanctuary is so well maintained that it is, in my personal opinion, of international standard. No wonder the number of foreign tourists outnumber the locals.
My sons could tell me the feel of their own skin in contact with the Elephant’s hide – its texture and dexterity. The preconceived fear towards a mammal as gigantic as the elephant is erased immediately when they rode it. In its place, a sense of awe and growing bond between man and animal. This is the best form of education you can get and dear Readers – do bring your children here instead of patronizing the shopping malls, spending money on the unnecessary. Better yet – use that money as donation to help conserve our wildlife!