Up close and personal

One fine Sunday, after so many times postponing this outing, I finally managed to drag my whole family to Kuala Gandah, Pahang. Why this place was so appealing to me? Well apart from getting bored dealing with the hankypanky of my office mates, Kuala Gandah is a place where The Department of wildlife and National Park established an Elephant conservation Center way back in 1989. This place of which located near Lanchang, can be reached in an hour non-spirited drive from Kay El. But if you want to be in our edition of Guinness book of World records and beat that time, rest assure a ticket by our dedicated ‘mat misai‘ will reached your mailbox in no time. And that was what happened to me. But I don’t blame them for shooting me on my back, even though some might consider the act as “dayus” . Like other departments which worshipped the six sigma or kaizen , they have their own KPI (Key Performance Index)and benchmarks to please their bosses . I am sure whoever shot me that day, will get his performance appraisal with a flying color.

The outing was worth the “saman” though. As the program starts at 2 pm each day, you have to be there earlier. I was so amazed by the punctuality of the visitors, which made me wondering how nice if some of our nasi lemak nation can adapt this attitude especially when attending meetings. Even though I am quite agree with some my colleagues who argued that rather than attending a meeting with the intention to just agree with whatever issues that being discussed, might as well having a chat in Yahoo messenger or listening to the sermon of Oprah Winfrey. The next thing you know, your effort can win you a place for a Tokoh Maal Hijrah. We should feel very proud and fortunate as we are living in the Boleh-land, where anything is possible.

Despite a photogenic pose by my two sons, this photo has somehow missed a column in our local tabloids. On the other hand, this place with their excellent environment and facilities can offer a splendid sanctuary for those who want to detox themselves.
A makeshift souvenir shop that was managed by one of the rangers. With such a low overhead, the price of souvenirs was quite reasonable. As usual, I got a personalised fridge magnet as a momenta to top up my collection for a mere RM6.00. My best buy ever.
Everybody was ecstatic for a joyride on these elephants. The ride was not as comfortable as any commercial massage chair that you can find in some shopping malls, but enough to get rid of the itchiness between my legs…I mean my back. On this rare occasion, I almost had cramped-feet since I have to “kangkang” very wide as my ride happened to be a very big adult elephant and I sat exactly on the widest part of this beast.After a hefty meals, the mahouts led the elephants for a bath. Unaware of the next move, the biggest surprise awaited this visitors as this trained elephant showed off with some freak acrobatic skills.
My second son (the handsome one in the forefront) out of the excitement, seemed very confused at the same time. Presumably having done some sacred ritual by pissing in his pant, could not make out between the mammoth beast and the party animals in the background.This skeleton of a deceased elephant was displayed in the information center. Coincidentally, I found many typical resemblances to this artifacts in my workplace. Skeleton walk around in my office compounds is a norm. This also reminded me of the skeleton in the closet that has been passed down from one generation to others. A weary face of the eldest elephant (69 years old) in the sanctuary. I would be retiring in my keropok-lekor state and looking after my durian and rambutan ochards at that age.
Next on the schedule was to visit a Deerland nearby. These diurnal Sambar Deer was legal immigrants from Indonesia (bali to be more precised). Looking at their motto ‘peramah dan mesra rakyat“, no wonder my family really felt at ease with them.It was good to expose our kids close to the nature at their early stage. Shown here was a hedgehog (remember Sonic the hedgehog?) and a cockatoo (and this one reminded me of that cute chocobos in my favourite final fantasy game) trying to make friend with my family.An open zoo concept in this Deerland is very interesting. You can get this close to the animals and other wild inhabitants like this wild sun bear and fed them. My exhausted entourage but contented at the same time. It was an outing worth a second trip.

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