Wild Elephant in Halaban Restoration Site: A Bitter Sweet Tale of Success and Challenge

Wild Elephant in Halaban Restoration Site:  A Bitter Sweet Tale of Success and Challenge

Gunung Leuser National Park of Leuser Ecosystem is one of the precious habitats of the critically endangered species of Sumatran elephant. Sadly, the fact that there are less than 3000 wild elephants remaining inside the national park. Their population keeps decreasing from time to time due to the habitat loss and poaching activity.


The male elephant inside of the Halaban restoration site


Having a restoration site inside of National Park, the wildlife becomes the friend of our restoration site’s workers. Bitter sweet moment fills in each step of our Halaban restoration site. Bitter moment of 2010, during the elephant herd season, a group of wild elephants destroyed our 10.000 seedlings within a night. Not to mention, the elephant found our cabin as a useful back scratching while our staff was inside of the cabin. Fear indeed, but the respect of our local staff towards the elephant that they even call them by Datuk (means King of the forest). They believe that the elephant has the superstition power to feel the human intention, between good and bad. “My job is to restore the damaged forest, so I feel confident that the Datuk will never hurt me because I do good things” Baron, one of the restoration site workers said.


Not only the male but a group of elephants often passed by the Halaban restoration site


Not only during the implementation of restoration programme, the local people often experience the conflict with the elephant. As on the elephant herd season, the elephants often enter and pass their farmland. During the walk, the elephants tend to eat some of their crops thus the conflict can’t be escaped.


The restoration site becomes the home for this elephants


The restoration is not merely about restoring the damaged forest but also returning the forest function and spreading awareness. The more forest grows and it can be functioned as the home to the wildlife gain, the less conflict occurs around the villages of our restoration site. “I observed that during the last elephant herd season, the elephant tend to pass and wander around our restoration site rather than entering the villages area now. Despite the bitter fact that it can be dangerous for us, the staff, but it is such a sweet moment to see them using our work result as their new home. A real satisfaction!” emphasized Bardok, our Halaban’s nursery staff.

The successful parameter of A restoration site is the returning of the wildlife and Halaban restoration site is the new home for many wildlife already. Please support us to restore more damage and degraded forest by donating now. Let’s build the new home for elephant and other wildlife together…