Four Paws International (FPI) and the Myanmar Mingla Association will work together to establish an elephant sanctuary and several elephant rehabilitation camps in North Zarmayi Forest in the Bago Mountain Range.
The forest covers 380 acres and will also provide a sanctuary for other wild animals and vegetation.
Four Paws International has founded nine animal sanctuaries in nine countries, including Indonesia, and it has plans to establish a sanctuary in Vietnam in the near future. FPI has visited North Zarmayi Forest three times, said Myanmar Mingla Association’s director Dr Phone Win.
“An elephant sanctuary cannot be located on a steep hill because such terrain is unsuitable for elephants. Pastures must also be cultivated for the elephants. The four or five elephant rehabilitation camps will nurse sick, injured and old elephants back to health and they will then be returned to their native habitats,” he added.
Myanmar has over 3,000 wild elephants and about 5,000 elephants in captivity working in the forestry sector.
“Since the intelligent and vulnerable elephants cannot be repatriated forcefully, there will need to be several sanctuaries,” Dr Phone Win said.
“The cost of the sanctuary has not been confirmed yet. It will be a long-term project,” he said.
Pending approval from the government, the sanctuary can be established in six months, and mobile veterinarian teams are being readied, said Myanmar Mingla Association’s director.