By Krist Inus
Displaced and injured elephants will have a new place to call home in the Bornean Elephant Sanctuary (BES) which will be officially launched tomorrow.
The first phase of the project, which started in October last year, was completed on June 28, and a juvenile female elephant has become the first "guest".
Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu said it would not have been possible without the assistance of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), the project's main sponsor, and Japanese partners led by Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) Japan.
Besides funding from the state government, MPOC has pledged RM5.2 million for the project, of which RM500,000 was used in phase one. BCT Japan and its 12 corporate partners, including Asahiyama Zoo and Saraya Corporation, have provided RM1.6 million in funds for the first phase.
BES, located at Lot 8 of the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, covers 1,214ha with a built-up area of 25 ha. The development is expected to be completed in the next two to three years.
"The total infrastructure cost is about RM30 million, while the overall master plan, which includes the setting up of the ecological corridor between Segaliud Lokan Forest Reserve and Batu Putih, costs between RM50 million to RM60 million," he told a press conference here yesterday.
He said staff for the first phase comprised six keepers with two each from BCT, Wildlife Rescue Unit, which is funded by MPOC and SWD. They are led by a senior ranger. More....