Unknown risk of extinction
To resolve this human-elephant conflict, education and enforcement have been key mitigation strategies. Local programmes have been conducted to educate affected communities on how to co-exist with wild elephants. At the same time, Elephant Response Units (ERUs) have been formed through the extensive training by their managers, also known as mahouts.
The ERUs usually each comprise five elephants and their mahouts. They patrol the forest, paying attention to conflict hotspots, collecting research data and serving as a deterrent to illegal human encroachment into the park. At the same time, and most importantly, the ERUs help to herd elephants away from fields and villages back into the park.
Educating the community, conducting regular patrols and monitoring activities in and around Way Kambas National Park, have helped preserved the integrity of the park. In total, an average of 150 patrols were conducted over a three-month period.
These efforts have helped to ensure a home for the elephants while assuring humans of a peaceful co-existence with these gentle giants.
Beyond our direct involvement in Sumatra, WRS is actively involved in numerous other efforts to ensure a holistic approach to conservation of Asian elephants. Examples of these are: