First Elephant Museum to open in Yangon

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Skeleton of an elephant displayed at the Myanmar’s first Elephant Museum near the Natural History Museum of the Yangon Zoological Garden in Yangon.  Photo: Min Htet

Myanmar’s first elephant museum will be opened near the Natural History Museum of the Yangon Zoological Garden in Yangon to commemorate World Wildlife Day, which will be observed on 3 March, according to the Forest Department.
The opening ceremony of the elephant museum will be held with another ceremony at which elephant tusks and other parts seized by the department will be burnt, according to a media conference held by the Forest Department on 26 February.
“We will destroy items meant for illegal trading which we seized as we cannot sell them,” said U Win Naing Thaw, the director of the Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division under the Forest Department.
“The elephant museum will not be huge, but it will have a lot of information about elephants. This information will be available in English and Myanmar languages. The museum will display messages to educate the public about how elephants can be protected,” said U Thein Toe, the director of the Yangon Region’s Forest Department.
The museum will be a part of the zoo’s Natural History Museum and will operate under the supervision of the Forest Department.
The museum will highlight the important role played by wild elephants and elephant history. It will also focus on the different threats facing the giants of the jungle and their long-term survival plan.
The museum has been funded by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Myanmar. The museum will be open daily and showcase the nature of elephants.
At least one elephant is killed in Myanmar by hunters every week. Hunters target not only wild elephants, but also those owned by the government and private individuals.
Currently, there are about 6,500 elephants in Myanmar, including 1,500 wild elephants and about 5,000 elephants registered by the government and private owners.

By Aye Yamone
(Translated by Hay Mar)

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