Riding On Asian Elephants In Lok Kawi Wildlife Park
One of the popular attractions in the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Sabah is the Borneo Elephant rides. The elephants in Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, sometimes called the Lok Kawi Zoo, are Borneo elephants, also called Borneo Pygmy elephants.
According to WWF, Borneo pygmy elephants are smaller and much less aggressive than other Asian elephants, and is recognized as a subspecies of the Asian elephant.
You will find the elephant ride a short distance inside the wildlife park. It is one of the main attractions, since you don’t get to ride a elephant anywhere else in Sabah.
As you explore deeper into the wildlife park, you will come to the large elephant enclosure. Surrounded by water, the elephants come at their handlers call and perform simple tricks at the edge of their enclosure. Elephants are smart and are one of my favorite animals.
It is good to see quite a number of elephants in the Lok Kawi Zoo, being kept in a large enclosure. They don’t look cramp and seem to enjoying working with their handlers.
About Borneo Pygmy Elephants
The Borneo Elephant, is also called Pygmy Elephant. The term Pygmy Elephant should not be confused with dwarf elephant which is used for a number of extinct species of elephants that evolved their size due to island dwarfing.
Long thought to be identical to the Asian Elephant and descendants from captive population. In 2003, DNA comparison revealed them to be probably a new subspecies, and are now classed as a sub-species of the Asian elephant.
History of Elephants in Borneo
Elephants were originally gifts from one ruler to another, or among individuals of high status. A Sultan of Sulu released his elephants into the wild, back at the time in old Borneo days. Hence the belief that Borneo elephants may have descended from captive Javanese elephants.
The genetic distinctiveness of Borneo elephants makes them one of the highest priority populations for Asian elephant conservation. In 2010, the population of Borneo elephants is estimated to be 2,000 in the wild, ranging over the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, and in the north in Kalimantan.
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