Way Kambas, Lampung- Visitors to the Way Kambas National Park, home to wild elephants in Lampung province, were disappointed after they found out they can no longer enjoy elephant rides and other entertainment shows after new regulations were imposed recently.
“I came all the way from Jakarta to this national park so that I can ride around with these elephants, and now they told me I can’t,” Adjie Santoso, a visitor to Way Kambas, told The Parrot, visibly upset after one of the beast tamers delivered him the bad news.
“They only put up a simple banner out at the gate when we arrived, what should we do now?” he said. Other visitors from east Java province also complained about the new regulation, saying they have traveled in great length with their children to show what elephants can do in the national park.
“It is the new regulation under president Jokowi,” one of the elephants’ trainers told The Parrot.
Located at the southern tip of Sumatra, 110 km from Bandar Lampung, the capital city of the province, The Way Kambas National Park is one of the oldest conservation parks in Indonesia.
It occupies around 1,300 square kilometer of coastal lowland forest around the Way Kambas River on the east coast of the province.
Officially established in 1985, the Elephant Training Center was designed to protect the biggest mammals. In its early day, visitors could observe elephants perform various tasks such as transporting lumber or ploughing fields.
They could also perform peculiar activities such as playing football or other entertaining performances until it was stopped in July.
According to news reports, performances were stopped because of previous practices in which revenue collected from visitors was not listed as non-tax State Income.
As a way to avoid allegations of corruption, the ministry of environment and forestry instructed the Way Kambas national park to stop all elephant shows and rides until further notice.
Reportedly there are around 200 Sumatran elephants lives in the national park. The Sumatran elephant is one of three recognized subspecies of the Asian Elephant, and native to Sumatra Island.
Taman Nasional Way Kambas
Jl. Raya Labuhan Ratu Lama, Labuhan Ratu, Sukadana
Lampung Timur – 34196
Telp. +62 (0) 725 7645024
Fax .+62 (0) 725 7645090