Nat Pauk elephant camp in Indaw Township, Katha District, Sagaing Region, celebrated World Elephant Day on the morning of 12 August.
The World Elephant Day was attended by the elephant camp in charge, elephant veterinatrians and staffs from west Katha, Indaw and Bamauk townships and Namhkam area, staffs from east and north Katha, Shweli and Mabein timber extraction regions and guests from Katha and Indaw towns.
“Today, our Nat Pauk elephant camp celebrates World Elephant Day by providing buffet food for the elephants, fruits such as bananas, sugarcanes, pineapples and Napiier grass, also known as pennisetum purpureum,” said Dr. Htoo Htoo Aung, an elephant vet of Katha west timber extraction region.
The World Elephant Day was held with an aim of preventing illegal poaching of elephant for their skin, meat, teeth and tusk and reduction of their habitats. It was also held to reduce conflicts between humans and elephants in wild elephant habitat areas. Nat Pauk elephant camp was opened in 2015. Initially, the camp conducted elephant show for foreign visitors. Since October 2016, the camp was opened to locals as well. The eight acres Nat Pauk elephant camp is an elephant conservation based tourism (ECBT) camp.
There are a total of 18 ECBT camps under the supervision of Myanma Timber Enterprise across the country. 425 tourists visited the Nat Pauk elephant camp, which earned Ks 11.5 million in fiscal year 2017-2018. The camp earned Ks 1.4 million between 1 April and 31 July 2018. The tour season is between October and March, while the camp goes under renovation between June and September, said Dr. Htoo Htoo Aung, an elephant vet. There are over 6,500 elephants in Myanmar which includes 3,100 Myanma Timber Enterprise elephants, close to 2,000 privately-owned elephants and 1,500 elephants in the wild.
ECBT elephant camps were opened with the aim for people to understand the elephant conservation work, sustaining Myanmar elephants, creating job opportunities while gaining income for the country and promoting the capacity of the employees, he added.
The admission fee is Ks 20,000 for foreigners and Ks 1,000 for locals. The camp collects Ks 3,000 from locals and Ks 20,000 from foreigners for a short elephant ride. The World Elephant Day was celebrated in every ECBT camp in Myanmar.
Maung Chit Lin (Indaw)