ISKANDAR PUTERI (Johor), The Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) is developing food banks in the elephant corridors in Johor as a long-term effort to address human-elephant conflicts, the Johor State Legislative Assembly was told today.

Chairman of the State Tourism, Environment, Heritage, and Culture Committee, K. Raven Kumar, said the food banks would help confine the elephants in the jungle instead of seeking food elsewhere.

He said Perhilitan Johor was collaborating with public universities to identify suitable areas where these elephant food banks could be developed.

“Most of the human-elephant conflicts are reported in the Kluang district, including in the Kahang state constituency, because it is close to the elephant habitats and corridors.

“Thirty-three complaints of human-elephant conflicts were received between January and October this year in the district. Perhilitan Johor has identified the elephant herds of the state parks involved in the incursions, numbering about 25 to 30 animals,” he said when winding up debate in the assembly.

Raven Kumar said 120 control operations had been carried out in the district to address the human-elephant conflict.

He also said that the state government, through Perhilitan Johor, had taken various practical measures in the management of the elephants in the state following the conflicts.

The incursions by these animals occurred not only in agricultural areas but also in residential areas close to their original habitats, he said.

Raven Kumar said the short- and medium-term mitigation measures included control and monitoring, planned population management, shoot-to-drive away, elephant translocation, construction of elephant trenches, and the development of the elephant electric fence system.

He also said that he would have discussions with Chairman of the State Agriculture, Agro-based Industry, and Rural Development Committee, Datuk Zahari Sarip, on solutions for farmers who have suffered losses due to elephant incursions.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency