Remembering Sheena

Stop Animal Abuse in Malaysia.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

'Lost Elephant Back In Belum'

Below is my letter published in the New Straits Times on September 15, 2006.

Start protecting their habitat
15 Sep 2006
SHOBA MANO, for Remembering Sheena Campaign

WITH reference to the report "Lost elephant back in Belum" (NST, Sept 13), I find it ironic that the article states that the lost elephant was released into "Belum state park in Grik".

I wonder if the public is aware that this so-called state park is only a small pocket of the vast Belum-Temenggor forest complex, which is right now being mercilessly logged.

Belum-Temenggor is so rich in biodiversity that it is said to be the only place in the world where 10 different species of hornbills congregate. It is also home to many animals, some unique to Malaysia and at least 14 on the world’s endangered species list.

An appeal was made to the Perak government to gazette this entire complex to save it from logging.

In 2003, only this small pocket was declared a state park but this has yet to be gazetted until today and, therefore, still vulnerable to logging.

Such a small pocket declared a state park is not enough to house large animals.

I feel sorry for this poor, lost elephant. Human beings chop down all the trees it needs for food and then call it a "rogue" elephant when it ventures into villages to eat from the fruit trees there.

Now it is released into a restricted, confined area which has to be shared with other wildlife fleeing from the logging in the rest of the Belum-Temenggor forest complex.

In an unprecedented move on Sept 11, Malaysians from all walks of life gathered at TGV Cinemas KLCC to appeal to the government to save Belum-Temenggor and to watch the premiere screening of a documentary at TGV Cinemas KLCC. This will be followed by a week-long free screening from today until Sept 20 at TGV Cinemas KLCC.

TGV Cinemas and Novista Sdn Bhd want no money to convey the special message to all Malaysians that if they lose Belum-Temenggor, they have lost a true piece of paradise.

I urge the public to go and watch this documentary to understand what the destruction of Belum-Temenggor rainforest, which is older than the Amazon and Congo, means to all Malaysians.


  • At 2:54 PM, Blogger Louisa Ponnampalam said…

    I agree with Shoba that it's unjust to log an elephant's habitat and then call it "rogue" when it ventures into a kampung and destroys crop.I wished that those with the power to make a difference would look at the bigger picture and for the long term.Merciless logging to me is like having someone break into your home and rob you of everything that you own,and then where do you go.....?


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