August 19, 2016

MTE to retire its elephants from logging

Men ride elephants owned by Myanma Timber Enterprise.
Men ride elephants owned by Myanma Timber Enterprise.

ELEPHANTS belonging to the Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE), which falls under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MNREC), will reportedly be retired from their logging activities starting from this 2016-17 fiscal year for utilization in other businesses.
The retirement of the elephants reportedly comes as part of efforts to curb the deforestation of Myanmar’s wildness.
“One day, our forests will cease to be logged. In anticipation of this event, we aim to utilise our elephants for other purposes, such as within the tourism sector – at Ahlaungdaw Kathapa National park, for example,” said U Myo Min, director of the MNREC.
Elephants of the MTE aged over 18-years-old, with work within Ayeyawady Region’s Sin Mon forest, can reportedly carry approximately 2,000 tons of logs a year.
“During the elephants’ downtime from their logging activities, they’re looked after by our mahouts who give them baths and take them for walks. The elephants are also regularly checked by veterinarians. Care is taken to ensure they don’t fight amongst themselves, become wounded and are administered medical treatments without delays,” said, U Myo Min Aung, elephant doctor from Sin Mon forest.
But numbers of elephants from Bago and Ayeyawady Regions are reportedly depleting as hunters target the animals for their ivory and skin, which is exported to China for a high price.
Plans between MTE and Four Paws International are reportedly in the making for the establishment of a centre in Bago Region for retired elephants.


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