Friday, October 31, 2008

Remembering Lukimala

Suddenly I remember Lukimala. No, she is not a girl as you all most probably think. She was a female trained elephant. Her job then was to coax newly-captured wild elephants to do things that the game warden asked, like going up onto the trailer or a raft.

I was involved in elephants translocation exercise together with the Wild Life and National Parks Department (Perhilitan). Our job was to capture the wild elephants from the jungle near Jerangau and move them into the National Park, Terengganu side.

What makes me suddenly remember Lukimala? Two things. First was when Abdul Rahim (he claimed that he knows Aiman). He sent me photos of the operation. Secondly when I met a co-worker in the operation at Seladang Conservation Centre in Jenderak. He told me that he had been searching for me all these years.

I did meet Lukimala many years ago in Malacca zoo. He looked bored.

Here are some of the pictures (they are old - more than 20 years old). Oops sorry could not upload images...some errors, according to my pc

Back to Lukimala then. She was so gentle and polite. Still remember how she refused to push an elderly bull elephant even when he was sedated. It was a case of a girl respecting an elderly getleman or rather gentleelephant! That was what termed as pecking order.

She was completely reversed when it came to younger elephants. A calf was at her mercy. She girlhandled the calf like it was a doll - pushed it, shoved it like anything.

But when I met her again in Malacca zoo, she was no more an active girl ( a woman by then). She was showing signs of boredom (swaying from side to side continuously).

I will try uploading the pictures again tomorrow.


Melissa said...

Lukimala sounds like such a smart and sweet elephant. I truly believe that animals have souls just like humans. They are capable of loving, learning, and they have such compassion.

Thank you for your kind anniversary wishes. Your family sounds wonderful, too.


azahar said...

Yes, elephants are both smart and good-at-heart. A big bull that we saved during the translocation, believe it or not, trumpeted several times, as if thanking us, before disappearing in the thick jungles of the National Park.

azahar said...

Latest update on the whereabouts of Lukimala:

My son, Khairul Syafiq, just told me that Lukimala is now at Kuala Gandar, Lancang Elephant Training school.

She is now a grand-old laday elephant!