If you think sharing your home office with a pet can be challenging, imagine working around a herd of 10,000-pound Bornean elephants! 

Malaysian oil palm plantation owners, already committed to conserving wildlife, are opening special corridors on their plantations to enable elephants and other wildlife to travel freely across their properties. 

In fall 2021, two adult Bornean elephants were fitted with satellite collars to help environmentalists track their movements. The tracking project was the collaborative effort between the Sabah Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) and NGO, Seratu Aatai. The team attached the collars to Sahana, a 1.5 ton female who stands about five feet tall, and Sandi, a 3.5-ton male standing about 7 feet tall.  

Tracking will help plantation owners and environmentalists learn how people can better coexist with the elephants. The team will track Sahana’s and Sandi’s movements through the forests and plantations of Kinabatangan. This information will help researchers understand the underlying reasons behind their movements, and suggest additional ways to protect these endangered species. 

The Malaysian government has a national action plan to coordinate the efforts needed to protect these elephants. The goal is to have elephants and humans co-exist in the landscape. The WRU receives a substantial part of its funding from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council.

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